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The "Perfumed Garden'' was translated into French 
before the year 1850, by a Staff Officer of the French 
army in Algeria. An autograph edition, printed in the 
italic character, was printed in 1876, but, as only twenty 
five copies are said to have been made, the book is both 
rare and costly, while, from the peculiarity of its type, it 
is difficult and fatiguing to read. An admirable reprint 
has, however, been recently issued in Paris, with the 
translator's notes and remarks, revised and corrected by 
the light of the fuller knowledge of Algeria which has 
been acquired since the translation was made. From 
that last edition the present translation (an exact and 
literal one) has been made, and it is the first time that 
the work, — one of the most remarkable of its kind, — 
has appeared in the English language. 





(XVL Century) 

Revised and Corrected Translation 

Cosmopoli: MDCCCLXXXVI : for the Kama Shastra 

Society of London and Benmres, and for 

Private circulation only. 

Alencon: Imprimerie Veuve Felix Guy et Cie. 


Prefatory Note ..... v 

Notes of the Translator respecting Cheikh Nefzaoui . ix 

Introduction . . . . . . 1 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men .... 9 


Concerning Women who Deserve to be Praised . 32 

About Men who are to be Held in Contempt . . 57 

About Women who are to be Held in Contempt . Î9 

Relating to the Act of Generation . ■. .62 

Concerning Everything Favourable to the Act of Coition 66 

Of matters which are Injurious in the Act of Generation 101 

The Sundry Names given to the Sexual Parts of Men 110 


Sundry Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 129 

Concerning the Organs of Generation of Animals . 160 


On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women . .163 



Concerning Sundry Observations useful to know for Men 

and Women ..... 185 

Concerning the Causes of Enjoyment in the Act of Gen- 

eration ...... 190 

Description of the Uterus of Sterile Women, and Treat' 

ment of the same . . . . .194 


Concerning Medicines which Provoke Abortion . .196 

Concerning the Causes of Impotence in Men . . 198 

Undoing of Aiguillettes (impotence for a time) 200 


Prescriptions for increasing the Dimensions of small 

Members, and for making them splendid . 202 

Of things that take away the bad smell from the Armpits 

and Sexual Parts of Women, and contract the latter 205 


Instructions with regard to Pregnancy, and how the Gen' 
der of the Child that is to be born may be known; 
that is to say, Knowledge of the Sex Foetus 207 

Forming the Conclusion of this Work, and Treating of 
the Good Effects of the Deglutition of Eggs as 
Favourable to the Coitus .... 209 

Appendix to the Autograph Edition . . . 226 




The name of the Cheikh has become known to posterity 
as the author of this work, which is the only one at- 
tributed to him. 

In spite of the subject-matter of the book and the 
manifold errors found in it, and caused by the negligence 
and ignorance of the copyists, it is manifest that this 
treatise comes from the pen of a man of great erudition, 
who had a better knowledge in general of literature and 
medicine than is commonly found with Arabs. 

According to the historical notice contained in the firs*, 
leaves of the manuscript, and notwithstanding the ap 
parent error respecting the name of the Bey who was 
reigning in Tunis, it may be presumed that this work 
was written in the beginning of the sixth century, about 
the year 925 of the Hegira. 

As regards the birthplace of the author, it may be 
taken for granted, considering that the Arabs habitually 
joined the name of their birthplace to their own, that he 
was born at Nefzaoua,^ a town situated in the district of 

^ Note in the autograph edition, 1876. — The reader will bear 
in mind in perusing this work that the remarks and notes by 
the eminent translator were written before 1850, when Algiers 
was but little known, and Kabylia in particular not at all. He 
will therefore not be surprised to find that some slight details 
arc not on a level with the knowledge acquired since. 

X Notes of the Translator 

that name on the shore of the lake Sebkha Melrir, in the 
south of the kingdom of Tunis. 

The Cheikh himself records that he lived in Tunis, 
and it is probable the book was written there. According 
to tradition, a particular motive induced him to under' 
take a work at variance with his simple tastes and retired 

His knowledge of law and literature, as well as of 
medicine, having been reported to the Bey of Tunis, this 
ruler wished to invest him with the office of cadi, al' 
though he was unwilling to occupy himself with public 

As he, however, desired not to give the Bey cause for 
offence, whereby he might have incurred danger, he 
merely requested a short delay, in order to be able to 
finish a work which he had in hand. 

This having been granted, he set himself to compose 
the treatise which was then occupying his mind, and 
which, becoming known, drew so much attention upon 
the author, that it became henceforth impossible to con' 
fide to him functions of the nature of those of a cadi.^ 

1 The district of Nefzaoua contains many isolated villages, 
all on level ground, and surrounded by palm trees; with large 
reservoirs in their midst. The pilgrims believe that the land 
is called Nefzaoua, because there are in it thousand "zaoua" 
(a chapel in which a marabout is buried), and it is alleged 
that the name was first El Afoun Zaouia, later corrupted into 
Nefzaoua. But this Arabian etymology does not appear to be 
correct, as according to the Arabian historians the names of 
the localities are older than the establishment of Islamism. The 
town of Nefzaoua is surrounded by a wall built of stones and 
bricks; having six gateways, one mosque, baths, and a market; 
in the environs are many wells and gardens. 

^ It is not impossible that the book, written in these cir- 
cumstances, was only an abridgement of the present one, an 
abridgement which he refers to in the first chapter of this 
book under the name of "Torch of the Universe." 

Noies of the Translator xi 

But this version, which is not supported by any au- 
thenticated proof, and which represents the Cheikh 
Nefzaoui as a man of Hght morals, does not seem to be 
admissable. One need only glance at the book to be 
convinced that its author was animated by the most 
praiseworthy intentions, and that, far from being in 
fault, he deserves gratitude for the services he has ren- 
dered to humanity. Contrary to the habits of the Arabs, 
there exists no commentary on this book; the reason 
may, perhaps, be found in the nature of the subject of 
which it treats, and which may have frightened, unnec- 
essarily, the serious and the studious. I say unnecessar- 
ily, because this book, more than any other, ought to 
have commentaries; grave questions are treated in it, 
and open out a large field for work and meditation. 

What can be more important, in fact, than the study 
of the principles upon which rest the happiness of man 
and woman, by reason of their mutual relations; relations 
which are themselves dependent upon character, health, 
temperament and the constitution, all of which it is the 
duty of philosophers to study.^ I have endeavoured to 
rectify this omission by notes, which, incomplete as I 
know them to be, will still ser\'e for guidance. 

In doubtful and difficult cases, and where the ideas of 
the author did not seem to be clearly set out, I have not 
hesitated to look for enlightment to the savants of 
sundry confessions, and by their kind assistance many 
difficulties, which I believed insurmountable, were con- 

1 "We need not fear to compare the pleasures of the senses 
with the most intellectual pleasures; let us not fall into the 
delusion of beheving that there are natural pleasures of tu-o 
sorts, thc^'one more ignoble than the other; the noblest pleas' 
ures are the greatest."- — Essai de Philosophie Morale, par M. de 
Maupertius, Berlin, 1749.) 

xii Notes of the Translator 

quered. I am glad to render them here my thanks. 

Amongst the authors who have treated of similar sub' 
jects, there is not one that can be entirely compared with 
the Cheikh; for his book reminds you, at the same time, 
of Aretin, of the book "Conjugal Love," and of Rabe- 
lais; the resemblance to this last is sometimes so striking 
that I could not resist the temptation to quote, in sev 
eral places, analogous passages. 

But what makes this treatise unique as a book of its 
kind, is the seriousness with which the most lascivious 
and obscene matters are presented. It is evident that the 
author is convinced of the importance of his subject, and 
that the desire to be of use to his fellowmen is the sole 
motive of his efforts. 

With the view to give more weight to his recommen- 
dations, he does not hesitate to multiply his religious 
citations and in many cases invokes even the authority 
of the Koran, the most sacred book of the Mussulmans. 

It may be assumed that this book, without being ex- 
actly a compilation, is not entirely due to the genius of 
the Cheikh Nef2;aoui, and that several parts may have 
been borrowed from Arabian and India'n writers. For 
instance, all the record of Mocailama and of Chedja is 
taken from the work of Mohammed ben Djerir el Ta- 
beri; the description of the different positions for coition, 
as well as the movements applicable to them, are bor- 
rowed from Indian works; finally, the book of "Birds 
and Flowers," by A2;eddine el Mocadecci, seems to have 
been consulted with respect to the interpretation of 
dreams. But an author certainly is to be commended for 
having surrounded himself with the lights of former 
savants, and it would be ingratitude not to acknowledge 

Notes of the Translator xiii 

the benefit which his books have conferred upon people 
who were still in their infancy to the art of love. 

It is only to be regretted that this work, so complete 
in many respects, is defective in so far as it makes no 
mention of a custom too common with the Arabs not to 
deserve particular attention. I speak of the taste so 
universal with the old Greeks and Romans, namely, the 
preference they give to a boy before a woman, or even 
to treat the latter as a boy. 

There might have been given on this subject sound 
advice as well with regard to the pleasures mutually 
enjoyed by the women called tribades. The same silence 
has been preserved by the author respecting bestiality. 
Nevertheless the two stories which he relates, and which 
speak, one of the mutual caresses of two women, and the 
other of a woman provoking the caresses of an ass, show 
that he knew of such matters. It is, therefore, inexcus' 
able that he should not have spoken more particularly on 
those points. It would certainly have been interesting 
to know which animals, by reason of their nature and 
conformation, are fittest to give pleasure either to man or 
woman, and what would be the result of such copulation. 

Lastly, the Cheikh does not mention the pleasures 
which the mouth or the hand of a pretty woman can 
give, nor the cunnilinges.^ 

^ Paediconibus os olere dicis; 
Hoc si, sicut ais, Fabulle, verum est, 
Quid credis olere cunnilingis? 

The mouths of paederasts, you say, smell badly; 

If such be true, as you aver, Fabulus, 

What about those, think you, that lick the vulva? 

MARTIALIS, Book xii., Epig. 86. 

2 Introduction 

parts of the two bellies/ the enjoyment soon comes to 
pass. The man is at work as with a pestle, while the 
woman seconds him by lascivious movements; ^ finally 
comes the ejaculation. 

The kiss on the mouth, on the two cheeks, upon the 
neck, as well as the sucking up of fresh lips, are gifts 
of God, destined to provoke erection at the favourable 
moment. God also was it who has embellished the chest 
of the woman with breasts, has furnished her with a 
double chin,^ and has given brilliant colours to her 

He has also gifted her with eyes that inspire love, and 
with eyelashes like polished blades. 

He has furnished her with a rounded belly and a beaU' 
tiful navel, and with a majestic crupper; and all these 
wonders are borne up by the thighs. It is between these 
latter that God has placed the arena of combat; when 
the same is provided with ample flesh, it resembles the 
head of a lion. It is called vulva. Oh! how many men's 
deaths lie at her door? Amongst them how many heroes! 

^ The Arabic word "ana" designates the lower parts of the 
belly, where the hairs grow, which are near to the generating 

2 In order to express the movement which takes place in 
the act of coition, the author uses the word "dok" with refer- 
ence to the man, and "hez" for the woman. The first of these 
words means to concuss, to stamp, to pound; it is the action 
of the pestle in the mortar; the second word signifies a swing' 
ing movement, at once exciting, exhilarating, and lascivious. 

^ The word "gheba" means a double chin. The Arabs have 
a decided preference for fat women, consequently everything 
pointing to that coition is with them a beauty. Thus, the 
ridges forming upon the stomach of a woman by the develop- 
ment of their stoutness are a very seductive sight in the eyes 
of Arabs. 

Introduction 3 

God has furnished this object with a mouth, a tongue/ 
two hps; it is Hke the impression of the hoof of the 
gazelle in the sands of the desert. 

The whole is supported by two marvellous columns, 
testifying to the might and the wisdom of God; they are 
not too long nor too short; and they are graced with 
knees, calves, ankles, and heels, upon which rest precious 

Then the Almighty has plunged woman into a sea of 
splendours, of voluptuousness, and of delights, and cov- 
ered her with precious vestments, with brilliant girdles 
and provoking smiles. 

So let us praise and exalt him who has created woman 
and her beauties, with her appetising flesh; who has 
given her hairs, a beautiful figure, a bosom with breasts 
which are swelling, and amorous ways, which awaken 

The master of the Universe has bestowed upon them 
the empire of seduction; all men, weak or strong, are 
subjected to the weakness for the love of woman. 
Through woman we have society or dispersion, sojourn 
or emigration. 

The state of humility in which are the hearts of those 
who love and are separated from the object of their love, 
makes their hearts burn with love's fire; they are op- 
pressed with a feeling of servitude, contempt and misery; 
they suffer under the vicissitudes of their passion: and all 
this as a consequence of their burning desire of contact. 

I, the servant of God, am thankful to Him that no one 
can help falling in love with beautiful women, and that 
no one can escape the desire to possess them, neither by 
change, nor flight, nor separation. 

1 Meaning of the clitoris. 

4 Introduction 

I testify that there is only one God, and that he has 
no associate. I shall adhere to his precious testimony to 
the days of the last judgment. 

I likewise testify as to our lord and master, Moham- 
med, the servant and ambassador of God, the greatest of 
the prophets (the benediction and pity of God be with 
him and with his family and disciples!).^ I keep pray 
ers and benedictions for the day of retribution, that 
terrible moment. 


I have written this magnificent work after a small book, 
called 'The Torch of the World," which treats of the 
mysteries of generation. 

This latter work came to the knowledge of the Vizir 
of our master Abd'el-A^iz, the ruler of Tunis. 

This illustrious Vizir was his poet, his companion, his 
friend and private secretaiy. He was good in council, 
true, sagacious and wise, the best learned man of his 
time, and well acquainted with all things. He called 
himself Mohammed ben Ouana ez Zonaoui, and traced 
his origin from Zonaoua.^ He had been brought up at 
Algiers, and in that town our master Abd-ehAziz el 

1 Mohammed, in verse 56, chap, xxxiii., with the heading 
"The Confederates," asks the believers to pray for him to 
God, and salute his name. It is in pursuance of this precept 
that the Mussulmans neither pronounce nor write the name of 
their prophet, without adding the sacramental formula, which 
runs: "Upon whom be benedictions and blessings of God." 

2 The Zonaoua were an independent Kabyl tribe, occupying 
the high peaks of Djurjura. The land of Kon-kon, represented 
by the Spanish writers as a kingdom, is simply the district be^ 
longing to the Zonaoua tribe, who had frequent conflicts with 
the Turks on their first arrival in Tunis. 

hitroduction 5 

Hafsi had made his acquaintance.^ 

On the day when Algiers was taken, that ruler took 
flight with him to Tunis (which land may God preserve 
in his power till the day of resurrection), and named 
him his Grand Vi2;ir. 

When the above mentioned book came into his hands, 
he sent for me and invited me pressingly to come and 
see him. I went forthwith to his house, and he received 
me most honorably. 

Three days after he came to me, and showing me my 
book, said, ''This is your work." Seeing me blush, he 
added, "You need not be ashamed; everything you have 
said in it is true; no one need be shocked at your words. 
Moreover, you are not the first who has treated of this 
matter; and I swear by God that it is necessary to know 
this book. It is only the shameless boor and the enemy 
of all science who will not read it, or make fun of it. 

^ The period spoken of here can only be that of the submis- 
sion of Algiers to Spain, when that city in 1510 (916 of the 
Hegira) acknowledged the supremacy of Spain and promised 
to pay her tribute, or that of the establishment of the Turkish 
domination in 151? (921 of the Hegira). These are the only 
two cases of submission related by the old historians; and at 
neither of these periods was an Abd-el-Aziz reigning in Tunis. 
It is, however, very probable that the Author speaks of the 
Turkish occupation, when Barbarossa, having been invited by 
the Emir of Algiers to help him with his Turks in the war with 
the Spaniards, arrived at the city, put the Emir to death, and 
caused himself to be proclaimed King of Algiers instead. 

The ruler of Tunis was then Abou Omar Amane Mohammed. 
The Bey of the name Abd-el-ziz, who, according to the period 
of his reign, came nearest to the events named by the author, 
was Abou Omar Abd'el'Aziz;, who died in 893, and was one of 
the best Khelifar of the dynasty of the Beni Hafs. This error 
or difference will not surprise those who know how inaccurate 
the Arabs are in their quotations. 

6 Introduction 

But there are sundry things which you will have to treat 
about yet." I asked him what these things were, and he 
answered, "I wish that you would add to the work a 
supplement, treating of the remedies of which you have 
said nothing, and adding all the facts appertaining there- 
to, omitting nothing. You will describe in the same the 
motives of the act of generation, as well as the matters 
that prevent it. You will mention the means for undo- 
ing spelle (aiguillette), and the way to increase the size 
of the verile member, when too small, and to make it 
resplendent. You will further cite those means which 
remove the unpleasant smells from tKe armpits and the 
natural parts of women, and those which will contract 
those parts. You will further speak of pregnancy, so as 
to make your book perfect and wanting in nothing. And, 
finally, you will have done your work, if your book sat- 
isfy all wishes." 

I replied to the Vizir: "O, my master, all you have 
said is not difficult to do, if it is the pleasure of God on 
high." ^ 

I forthwith went to work with the composition of this 
book, imploring the assistance of God (may He pour His 
blessing on His prophet, and may happiness and pity be 
with Him). 

^ The Arabs never say they will do a thing, without adding 
"If it please God." The prescriptions of the Koran (verse 23, 
chap, xviii) run: "Never say, I shall do so and so to-morrow," 
without "If it please God." 

The origin of this verse is ascribed to the momentary trouble 
in which Mohammed was, when answering questions put to him 
by Jews. He had promised to answer them the next day, 
forgetting to add, "If it please God." As punishment the reve- 
lations did not come till some days after. Their verse runs as 

"Never say, 'I shall do a thing to-morrow,' without adding 
'If it be the will of God.' Remember God, if you should forget 
this, and say: 'Perhaps God will help me to the true knowledge 
of things.' " 

Introduction 7 

I have called this work "The Perfumed Garden for 
the Soul's Recreation" (Er Roud el Aater p nezaha el 
Khater) . 

And we pray to God, who directs everything for the 
best (and there is no other God than He, and there is 
nothing good that does not come from Him), to lend us 
His help, and lead us in good ways; for there is no 
power nor joy but in the high and mighty God. 

I have divided this book into twenty-one chapters, in 
order to make it easier reading for the taleb (student) 
who wishes to learn, and to facilitate his search for what 
he wants. Each chapter relates to a particular subject, 
be it physical, or anecdotical, or treating of the wiles and 
deceits of women. 


I. Concerning praiseworthy men. 

II. Concerning praiseworthy women. 

III. Concerning despicable men. 

IV. Concerning despicable women. 

V. Concerning the act of generation. 

VI. Concerning circumstances favourable to the act 
of generation. 

VII. Concerning circumstances detrimental to the 
act of generation. 

VIII. About the different names given to the sexual 
organs of man. 

IX. About the different names given to the sexual 
parts of women. 

8 Inti'oduction 

X. The act of generation with sundry animals. 
XI. Concerning the wiles and deceptions of women. 
XII. Concerning sundry useful questions for men 
and women. 

XIII. The reason for the pleasure felt in the act of 


XIV. Description of the womb of women who are 

sterile, and treatment of the same. 
XV. About the means of producing miscarriage. 
XVI. Causes of impotence in man. 
XVII. Undoing sinister spells (aiguillettes). 

XVIII. About means to enlarge the dimensions of small 

virile members, and to make them imposing. 
XIX. How to remove the bad odour of the armpits 

and genitalia of women, and how to con' 

tract the parts. 
XX. Instructions about the pregnancy, and how to 

know of what sex the child will be. 
XXI. Containing the conclusion of the work, and 

showing how the deglutition of eggs is fa' 

vourable to the venerial act. 

I have made the above table to facilitate the research 
for readers as they may desire. 



Learn, O Vi^ir (God's blessing be upon you), that there 
are different sorts of men and women, that amongst 
these are those who are worthy of praise, and those who 
deserve reproach. 

When a meritorious man finds himself near to women, 
his member grows, gets strong, vigorous and hard; he is 
not quick to discharge, and after the trembling caused 
by the emission of the sperm, he is soon stiff again. 

Such a man is liked and appreciated by the women; 
this is, because the woman loves the man only for the 
sake of the coition. His member should, therefore, be 
of ample dimensions and length. Such a man ought to 
be broad in the chest, and heavy in the crupper; he 
should know how to regulate his emissions, and ready 
as to erection; his member should reach to the end of 
the canal of the female, and completely fill the same in 
all its parts. Such an one will be well loved by women, 
for as the poet says. — 

"I have seen women trying to find in young men 
The durable quah'ties which grace the man of full power. 
The beauty, the enjoyment, the reserve, the strength, 
The full'formed member providing a lengthened coition, 
A heavy crupper, a slowly coming emission, 
A lightsome chest, as it were floating upon them; 
The spermal ejaculation slow to arrive, so as 
To furnish forth a long drawn-out enjoyment. 
His member soon to be prone again for erection, 
To ply the plane^ again and again and again on their vulvas, 
Such is the man whose cult gives pleasure to women. 
And who will ever stand high in their esteem." 

^ Note of the edition of 1876. The Arab word signifies, "He 
flies, he works all around, he planes roundly through space." 
This is a poetical image, difficult to render in translation. 

10 The Perfumed Garden 


The tale goes, that on a certain day, Abd-el'MeUk 
ben Merouane,^ went to see Leilla, his mistress,^ and put 
various questions to her. Amongst other things, he 
asked her what were the quaHties which women looked 
for in men. 

Leilla answered him: "Oh my master, they must have 
cheeks like ours." "And what besides?" said Ben MeroU' 
ane. She continued: "And hairs like ours; finally they 
should be like to you, O prince of believers, for surely, 
if a man is not strong and rich he will obtain nothing 
from women," 


The virile member, to please women, must have at 
most a length of the breadth of twelve fingers, or three 
hand'breadths, and at least six fingers, or a hand and a 
half breadth. 

There are men with members of twelve, or three hand' 
breadths; others of ten fingers, or two and a half hands. 
And others measure eight fingers, or two hands. A man 
whose member is of less dimensions cannot please wo- 

^ Abd'cl-Melik ben Merouane was Kalif of Damascus; he 
reigned over Arabia, Syria, and part of the Orient. He lived 
about the year 76, for history reports that in that year he 
caused money to be coined with the legend, "God is unique, 
God is alone." His name is besides found on some coins older 
than from the year 75. 

2 Leilla is a poetess, who lived at the time of the KaHf, Abd' 
el-Melik, the son of Merouane. She was called Akhegalia, as 
belonging to an Arab family named "the children of Akhegal." 
She is celebrated for the love she inspired Medjenoun with, and 
which was the subject of many romances. 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 11 


The use of perfumes by men as well as by women, 
excites to the act of copulation. The woman inhaling the 
perfumes employed by the man gets like into a swoon; 
and the use of scents has often proved a strong help to 
man, and assisted him in getting possession of a woman. 

On this subject it is told of Mocailama,'^ the imposter, 
the son of Kaiss (whom God may curse!), that he pre- 
tended to have the gift of prophecy, and imitated the 
Prophet of God (blessings and salutations to him). For 
which reasons he and a great number of Arabs have 
incurred the ire of the Almighty. 

Mocailama, the son of Kaiss, the imposter, miscon' 
strued likewise the Koran by his lies and impostures; and 
on the subject of a chapter of the Koran, which the 
angel Gabriel (Hail be to him) and brought to the 
Prophet (the mercy of God and hail to him), people of 
bad faith had gone to see Mocailama, who had told 
them, "To me also has the angel Gabriel ^ brought a 
similar chapter. 

1 This Mocailama was one of the strongest competitors of 
Mohammed. He sprang from the tribe of Honcifa, in the 
province of Yamama. He was the head of a deputation sent 
by his tribe to the prophet Mohammed, and embraced Islamism 
in the year 9 of the Hegira. 

2 This angel plays a great part in the Koran, and conse' 
quently in the Oriental books. He conveyed to Mohammed the 
heavenly revelations. He forms part of that order of spirits 
which the Mussulmans call "Mokarrabine," which means ap- 
proaching nearest to God. 

12 The Perfumed Garden 

He derided the chapter headed ''the Elephant," ^ say 
ing, "In this chapter of the Elephant I see the elephant. 
What is the elephant? What does it mean? What is this 
quadruped? It has a tail and a long trunk. Surely it is 
a creation of our God, the magnificent." 

The chapter of the Koran named the Kouter ^ is also 
an object of his controversy. He said, "We have given 
you precious stones for yourself, and in preference to 
any other man, but take care not to be proud of them." 

Mocailama had thus perverted sundry chapters in the 
Koran by his lies and impostures. 

He had been at this work when he heard the Prophet 
(the salutation and mercy of God be with him) spoken 
of. He heard that after he had placed his venerable 
hands upon a bald head, the hair had forthwith sprung 
up again; that when he spat into a pit, the water came 
in abundantly, and that the dirty water turned at once 
clean and good for drinking; that when he spat into an 
eye that v/as blind or obscure, the sight was at once re 
stored to it, and when he placed his hands upon the 
head of a child, saying, "Live for a century," the child 
lived to be a hundred years old. 

When the disciples of Mocailama saw these things or 

1 There is in fact a chapter of the Koran with the heading 
"The Elephant." This chapter, the 105th, originated with a 
victory of the Prophet over an Ethiopian prince; the white 
Elephant, on which the prince was mounted, having knelt down 
as a sign of adoration at the sight of Mecca. Hence the name 
of the chapter, which perpetuates the name of this victory. It 
was this name that Mocailama tries to turn into ridicule, by 
pretending to see only the name of an animal, and not to under' 
stand its real sense. 

2 The title of Chapter 108 of the Koran, "el Kouter," sig- 
nifies "generosity," "liberality." Mocailama pretended in his 
controversy that all the articles which the first verse of the 
chapter declares to have been given to Mohammed had been 
previously placed at his disposition, so that he might reserve 
for himself the best. 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 13 

heard speak of them, they came to him and said, "Have 
you no knowledge of Mohammed and his doings?'' He 
repHed, "I shall do better than that." 

Now, Mocailama was an enemy of God, and when he 
put his luckless hand on the head of someone who had 
not much hair, the man was at once quite bald; when he 
spat into a well with a scanty supply of water, sweet as 
it was, it was turned dirty by the will of God; if he spat 
into a suffering eye, that eye lost its sight at once, and 
when he laid his hand upon the head of an infant, say 
ing, "Live a hundred years," the infant died within an 

Observe, my brethren, what happens to those whose 
eyes remain closed to the light, and who are deprived of 
the assistance of the Almighty! 

And thus acted that woman of the Beni'Temin, called 
Chedja et Temimia, who pretended to be a prophetess. 
She had heard of Mocailama, and he likewise of her. 

This woman was powerful, for the Beni'Temim form 
a numerous tribe. She said, "Prophecy cannot belong to 
two persons. Either he is a prophet, and then I and my 
disciples will follow his laws, or I am a prophetess, and 
then he and his disciples will follow my laws." 

This happened after the death of the Prophet (the 
salutation and mercy of God be with him) . 

Chedja then wrote to Mocailama a letter, in v^hich she 
told him, "It is not proper that two persons should at 
one and the same time profess prophecy; it is for one 
only to be a prophet. We and our disciples will meet 
and examine each other. We shall discuss about that 
which has come to us from God (the Koran), and we 
will follow the laws of him who shall be acknov/ledged 
as the true prophet," 

14 The Perfumed Garden 

She then closed her letter and gave it to a messenger, 
saying to him: "Betake yourself, with this missive, to 
Yamama, and give it to Mocailama ben Kaiss. As for 
myself, I follow you, with the army." 

Next day the prophetess mounted horse with her 
goum ^ and followed the spoor of her envoy. When 
the latter arrived at Mocailama's place, he greeted him 
and gave him the letter. 

Mocailama opened and read it, and understood its con- 
tents. He was dismayed, and began to advise with the 
people of his goum, one after another, but he did not 
see anything in their advice or in their views that could 
rid him of his embarrassment. 

While he was in this perplexity, one of the superior 
men of his goum came forward and said to him. "Oh, 
Mocailama, calm your soul and cool your eye.^ I will 
give you the advice of a father to his son." 

Mocailama said to him: "Speak, and may thy words 
be true." 

And the other one said: "To-morrow morning erect 
outside the city a tent of coloured brocades, provided 
with silk furniture of all sorts. ^ Fill the tent afterwards 

1 Goum. — Meeting of cavaliers, who form an escort, some 
times representing the war-forces of great Arab chiefs. Per- 
haps in the sense used by the author the word may be rendered 
as disciples. 

2 One hears frequently, "May God refresh his eyes," which 
means: "May God by contentment refresh his eyes, which is 
hot with tears." 

3 It will, perhaps, not be useless to observe here that among 
the nomadical Arabs the custom obtains that the man who 
wants to cohabit with his wife erects a tent oyer her. Hence 
a man who is going to be married is called "bani," building; 
and of a man who has just been married it is said, "Bena ala 
Ahlihi," which means: "He has built over his wife," 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 15 

with a variety of different perfximes, amber, musk, and 
all sorts of scents, as rose, orange flowers, jonquils, jessa- 
mine, hyacinth, carnation and other plants. This done, 
have then placed there several gold censers filled with 
green aloes, ambergris, neddle ^ and so on. Then fix the 
hangings so that nothing of these perfumes can escape 
out of the tent. Then, when you find the vapor strong 
enough to impregnate water,^ sit down on your throne, 
and send for the prophetess to come and see you in the 
tent, where she will be alone with you. When you are 
thus together there, and she inhales the perfumes, she 
will delight in the same, all her bones will be relaxed in 
a soft repose, and finally she will be swooning. When 
you see her thus far gone, ask her to grant you her fa- 
vours; she will not hesitate to accord them. Having 
once possessed her, you will be freed of the embarrass- 
ment caused to you by her and her goum." 

Mocailama exclaimed: "You have spoken well. As 
God lives, your advice is good and well thought out." 
And he had everything arranged accordingly. 

When he saw that the perfumed vapour was dense 
enough to impregnate the water in the tent he sat down 
upon his throne and sent for the prophetess. On her 

^ The "nedde" is a mixture of various perfumes, amongst 
which benzoin and amber predominate. This mixture, which 
is black, is formed into a small cyhnder. It is burnt upon 
coals, or hke the pastils of the serail by Hghting one end. 
According to some authors, "neddle" is only a preparation of 

2 That is to say that the vapours of the perfumes have been 
long enough in the place and thick enough to communicate 
their odour to water placed in the tent. The text says only 
"when the water shall be mixed with the fumes." 

16 The Perfumed Garden 

arrival he gave orders to admit her into the tent; she 
entered and remained alone with him. He engaged her 
in conversation. 

While Mocailama spoke to her she lost all her pres- 
ence of mind, and became embarrassed and confused. 

When he saw her in that state he knew that she de- 
sired cohabitation, and he said: ''Come, rise and let me 
have possession of you; this place has been prepared for 
that purpose. If you like you may lie on your back, or 
you can place yourself on all fours, or kneel as in prayer, 
with your brow touching the ground, and your crupper 
in the air, forming a tripod.^ Whichever position you 
prefer, speak, and you shall be satisfied." 

The prophetess answered, "I want it done in all ways. 
Let the revelation of God descend upon me, O Prophet 
of the Almighty." 

He at once precipitated himself upon her, and enjoyed 
her as he liked. She then said to him, ''When I am 
gone from here, ask my goum to give me to you in 

When she left the tent and met her disciples, they 
said to her "What is the result of the conference, O 

1 To understand this passage properly it must be known that 
the Arabs, when praying, kneel on the ground with the face 
bent low down and the hands on the knees. 

The tripod is then formed by the two knees and the head 
touching the ground. It is easy to see that this position causes 
the posterior part of the body to project very much backwards. 
The way how to practice cohabitation thus is stated in the 69th 
manner, chapter vi. "Hoc mihi tradidit Deus: foemines Deus 
condidit rimosas, virosque iis dedit maritos, qui mentulas in 
psas immittunt; eas que deinde simul ac volunt retrahunt: quo 
(acto illae catulos nobis pariunt." 

Concerning Praisetvorthy Men 17 

prophetess of God?" and she replied, "Mocailama has 
shown me what has been revealed to him, and I found 
it to be the truth, so obey him." 

Then Mocailama asked her in marriage from the goum, 
which was accorded to him. When the goum asked 
about the rnarriagcdowry of his future wife, he told 
them, "I dispense you from saying that prayer 'aceur' " 
(which is said at three or four o'clock) . Ever from that 
time the Beni'Temin do not pray at that hour; and when 
they are asked the reason, they answer, "It is on account 
of our prophetess; she only knows the way to the truth." 
And, in fact, they recognize no other prophet. 

On this subject a poet has said — ■ 

. For us a female prophet has arisen; 
Her laws we follow; for the rest of mankind 
The prophets that appeared were always men.i 

The death of Mocailama v;as foretold by the prophecy 
of Abou Beker - (to whom God be good) . He was, in 
fact, killed by Zeid ben Khettab. Other people say it 

^ This history of the encounter between Mocailama and 
Chedja, whose proper name was Fedja bent el Harents ben 
Souard, is reproduced in the work of Abou Djaferi Mohammed 
ben Djerir el Teberi, where it is told with the minutest particu' 
lars, and bears the signs of a veritable religious truth. 

2 Abou Beker is the father of Aicha, the wife of Mohammed. 
He followed the latter in the year 1 1 of the Hegira. By his 
and Omar's authority, a great many Mussulmans were turned 
from their design to apostasize. He was the first Kalif, and 
remained in power, in spite of the pretensions of the partisans 
of All Mohammed's son-in-law, who maintained that the 
Prophet had long before his death assigned Ali as his 

18 The Perfumed Garden 

was done by Ouhcha, one of his disciples. God only 
knows whether it was Ouhcha. He himself says on this 
point, "I have killed in my ignorance the best of men, 
Haman ben Abd el Mosaleb,^ and then I killed the worst 
of men, Mocailama. I hope that God will pardon one 
of these actions in consideration of the other." 

The meaning of these words, "I have killed the best 
of men" is, that Ouhcha, before having yet known the 
prophet, had killed Ham2;a (to whom God be good), 
and having afterwards embraced Islamism, he killed 

As regards Chedja et Temimia, she repented by God's 
grace, and took to the Islamitic faith; she married one 
of the Prophet's followers (God be good to her hus' 

Thus finishes the story. 

The man who deserves favours is in the eyes of women, 
the one who is anxious to please them. He must be of 
good presence, excel in beauty those around him, be of 
good shape and well-formed proportions; true and sin- 
cere in his speech with women; he must likewise be gen' 
erous and brave, not vainglorious, and pleasant in con- 
versation. A slave to his promise, he must always keep 
his word, ever speak the truth, and do what he has said. 

1 These facts concur with the historical ones. Hamza, the 
uncle of the Prophet, was certainly killed in the battle of Ohod, 
in the year 4 of the Hegira, by a negro, Ouhcha, who after- 
wards killed Mocailama. 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 19 

The man who boasts of his relations to women, of 
their acquaintance and good will to him, is a dastard. 
He will be spoken of in the next chapter. 

There is a story that once there lived a king named 
Mamoum,^ who had a court fool of the name of Bahl- 
oul,^ who amused the princes and Vizii-s. 

One day this buffoon appeared before the King, who 
was amusing himself. The King bade him sit down, 
and then asked him, turning away, "Why hast thou 
come, O son of a bad woman?" 

Bahloul answered, "I have come to see what has come 
to our Lord, whom may God make victorious." 

"And what has come to thee?" replied the King, "and 
how art thou getting on with thy new and with thy old 
wife?" For Bahloul, not content with one wife, had 
married a second one. 

"I am not happy," he answered, "neither with the old 
one, nor with the new one; and moreover poverty over- 
powers me." 

The King said, "Can you recite any verses on this 

^ Abdallah ben Namoum, one of the sons of Haroun er 
Kachid. Having for a long time made war upon his brother 
el Amine for the empire, and the latter having been vanquished 
and killed in a battle near Bagdad, el Mamoum was unanimously 
proclaimed Kalif in the year 178 of the Hegira. He was one 
of the most distinguished Abyssidian rulers with respect to 
science, wisdom, and goodness. 

2 The word Bahloul, of Persian origin, signifies a man that 
laughs, derides; a knave, a sort of fool in the Orient. 

20 The Perfumed Garden 

The buffoon having answered in the affirmative, 
Mamoum commanded him to recite those he knew, and 
Bahloul began as follows: — 

"Poverty holds me in chains; misery torments me. 
I am being scourged with all misfortunes; 
HI luck has cast me in trouble and peril, 
And has drawn upon me the contempt of man. 
God does not favour a poverty like mine; 
That is approbrious in every one's eyes. 
Misfortune and misery for a long time 
Have held me tightly; and no doubt of it 
My dwelling house will soon not know me more." 

Mamoum said to him, ''Where are you going to?" 

He replied, "To God and his Prophet, O prince of 
the believers." 

"That is well!" said the King; "those who take refuge 
in God and his Prophet, and then in us, will be made 
welcome. But can you now tell me some more verses 
about your two wives, and about what comes to pass 
with them?" 

"Certainly," said Bahloul. 

"Then let us hear v^^hat you have to say!" 

Bahloul then began thus with poetical w^ords: 
"By reason of my ignorance, I have married two wives — 
And why do you complain, O husband of two wives? 
I said to myself, I shall be like a lamb between them; 
I shall take my pleasure upon the bosoms of ray two sheep. 
And I have become like a ram between tvo fem.ale jackals, 
Days follow upon days, and nights upon nights, 
And their yoke bears me down both during days and nights. 
If I am kind to one, the other gets vexed. 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 21 

And so I cannot escape from these two furies. 

If you want to live well and with a free heart, 

And with your hands unclenched, then do not marry. 

If you must wed, then marry one wife only. 

One alone is enough to satisfy two armies." 

When Mamoum heard these words he began to laugh, 
till he nearly tumbled over. Then as a proof of his 
kindness, he gave to Bahloul his golden robe, a most 
beautiful vestment. 

Bahloul went in high spirits towards the dwelling of 
the Grand Vizir. Just then Hamdonna ^ looked from 
the height of her palace in that direction, and saw him. 
She said to her negress, "By the God of the temple of 
Mecca! There is Bahloul dressed in a fine gold-worked 
robe! How can I manage to get possession of the same?" 

The negress said, ''Oh, my mistress, you would not 
know how to get hold of that robe." 

Hamdonna answered, "I have thought of a trick to do 
it, and I shall get the robe from him." 

"Bahloul is a sly man," replied the negress. "People 
think generally that they can make fun of him; but, for 
God, it is he who makes fun of them. Give the idea up, 
mistress mine, and take care that you do not fall into 
the snare which you intend setting for him." 

But Hamdonna said again, "It must be done!" She 
then sent her negress to Bahloul, to tell him that he 
should come to her. He said, "By the blessing of God, 

^ Hamdona from the Arabic root hamd, which means to 
praise; hence Ahmed, the most praiseworthy. From the 
same root comes the name of Mohammed, corrupted into 

22 The Perfumed Garden 

to him who calls you, you shall make answer," and went 
to Hamdonna.^ 

Hamdonna welcomed him and said: "Oh, Bahloul, I 
believe you come to hear me sing." He replied. "Most 
certainly, oh, my mistress! She has a marvelous gift for 
singing," he continued. "I also think that after having 
listened to my songs, you will be pleased to take some 
refreshments." "Yes," said he. 

Then she began to sing admirably, so as to make 
people who listened die with love. 

After Bahloul had heard her sing, refreshments were 
served; he ate and he drank. Then she said to him. "I 
do not know why but I fancy you would gladly take off 
your robe, to make me a present of it." And Bahloul 
answered: "Oh, my mistress! I have sworn to give it to 
her to whom I have done as a man does to a woman." 

"What! you know what that is, Bahloul?" said she. 

"Whether I know it?" replied he. "I, who am in- 
structing God's creatures in that science? It is I who 
make them copulate in love, who initiate them in the 
delights a female can give, show them how you must 
caress a woman, and what will excite and satisfy her. 
Oh, my mistress, who should know the art of coition 
if it is not I?" 

Hamdonna was the daughter of Mamoum, and the 
wife of the Grand Vi2;ir. She was endowed with the 
most perfect beauty; of superb figure and harmonious 
form. No one in her time surpassed her in grace and 

1 "To him who calls you make answer." This sentence is 
taken from the Hadits, or Traditions of Mohammed. Some' 
times it is used in conversation in the same sense as above, 
but its true meaning is obscure. The words "By the blessing 
of God" in the same sentence is a form of acceptance or con- 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 23 

perfection. Heroes on seeing her became humble and 
submissive and looked down to the ground for fear of 
temptation, so many charms and perfections had God 
lavished on her. Those who looked steadily at her were 
troubled in their mind, and oh! how many heroes imper- 
illed themselves for her sake. For this very reason 
Bahloul had always avoided meeting her for fear of 
succumbing to the temptation, and, apprehensive of his 
peace of mind, he had never, until then, been in her 

Bahloul began to converse with her. Now he looked 
at her and anon bent his eyes to the ground, fearful of 
not being able to command his passion. Hamdonna 
burnt with desire to have the robe, and he would not 
give it up without being paid for it. 

''What price do you demand," she asked. To which 
he replied, "Coition, O apple of my eye." 

"You know what that is, O Bahloul?" said she. 

"By God," he cried; "no man knows women better 
than I; they are the occupation of my life. No one has 
studied all their concerns more than I. I know what 
they are fond of; for learn, oh, lady mine, that men 
choose different occupations according to their genius 
and their bent. The one takes, the other gives; this one 
sells, the other buys. My only thought is of love and of 
the possession of beautiful women. I heal those that are 
lovesick, and carry a solace to their thirsting vaginas." 

Hamdonna was surprised at his words and the sweet- 
ness of his language. "Could you recite me some verses 
on this subject?" she asked. 

"Certainly," he answered. 

"Very well, O Bahloul, let me hear what you have to 

24 The Perfumed Garden 

Bahloul recited as follows: — 

"Men are divided according to their affairs and doings; 

Some are always in spirits and joyful, others in tears. 

There are those whose life is restless and full of misery, 

While, on the contrary, others are steeped in good fortune. 

Always in luck's happy way, and favoured in all things. 

I alone am indifferent to all such matters. 

What care I for Turkomans, Persians, and Arabs? 

My whole ambition is in love and coition with women, 

No doubt nor mistake about that! 

If my member is without vulva, my state becomes frightful, 

My heart then burns v/ith a fire which cannot be quenched. 

Look at my member erect! There it is — admire its beauty! 

It calms the heat of love and quenches the hottest fires 

By its movement in and out between your thighs. 

Oh, my hope and my apple, oh, noble and generous lady. 

If one time will not suffice to appease thy fire, 

I shall do it again, so as to give satisfaction; 

No one may reproach thee, for all the world does the same. 

But if you choose to deny me, then send me away! 

Chase me away from thy presence without fear or remorse! 

Yet bethink thee, and speak and augment not my trouble, 

But, in the name of God, forgive me and do not reproach me. 

While I am here let thy words be kind and forgiving. 

Let them not fall upon me like sword'blades, keen and cutting! 

Let me come to you and do not repel me. 

Let me come to you like one that brings drink to the thirsty; 

Hasten and let my hungry eyes look at thy bosom. 
Do not withhold from me love's joys, and do not be bashful, 
Give yourself up to me — I shall never cause you a trouble. 
Even were you to fill me with sickness from head to foot. 
I shall always remain as I am, and you as you are. 
Knowing, that we are the servants, and you are the mistress. 
Then shall our love be veiled? It shall be hidden for all time. 
For I keep it a secret and I shall be mute and muzzled. 
It's by the will of God, that everything is to happen. 
He has filled me With love, and tO'day I am in ilMuck." 

Coneeming Praiseivorthy Men 25 

While Hamdonna was listening she nearly swooned, 
and set herself to examine the member of Bahloul, which 
stood erect like a column between his thighs. Now she 
said to herself: '1 shall give myself up to him," and now 
"No I will not." During this uncertainty she felt a 
yearning for pleasure between her thighs, and Eblis 
made flow from her natural parts a moisture, the fore' 
runner of pleasure.^ She then no longer combated her 
desire to cohabit with him, and reassured herself by the 
thought: "If this Bahloul, after having had his pleasure 
with me, should divulge it no one will believe his 

She requested him to divest himself of his robe and to 
come into her room, but Bahloul replied. "I shall not 
undress till I have stated my desire, O apple of my eye." 

Then Hamdonna rose, trembling with excitement for 
what was to follow; she undid her girdle and left the 
room, Bahloul following her and thinking: "Am I really 
awake or is this a dream?" He walked after her till she 
had entered her boudoir. Then she threw herself on a 
couch of silk, which was rounded on the top like a vault, 
lifted her clothes up over her thighs, trembling all over, 
and all the beauty which God had given her was in 
Bahloul's arms. 

Bahloul examined the belly of Hamdonna, round like 
an elegant cupola, his eyes dwelt upon a navel which 
was like a pearl in a golden cup; and descending lower 

^ The words "Eblis made flow a moisture" (djera Eblis menha 
raadjera el dem) is an Arabian idiom, expressing that a woman 
is getting lusty; the sexual parts get moist. Eblis is a rebellious 
angel who refused to bow down before Adam when God 
ordered him to do so. Sometimes Eblis is also used as a gen» 
eral name for the devil, Satan, demon. 

26 The Perfumed Garden 

down there was a beautiful piece of nature's workman' 
ship, and the whiteness and shape of her thighs sur- 
prised him. 

Then he pressed Hamdonna in a passionate embrace, 
and soon saw the animation leave her face; she seemed 
to be almost unconscious. She had lost her head; and 
holding Bahloul's member in her hands excited and fired 
him more and more. 

Bahloul said to her: "Why do I see you so troubled 
and beside yourself?" And she answered: "Leave me, O 
son of the debauched woman! By God, I am like a mare 
in heat, and you continue to excite me still more with 
your words, and what words! They would set any 
woman on fire, if she was the purest creature in the 
world. You will insist in making me succumb by your 
talk and your verses." 

Bahloul answered: "Am I then not like your hus- 
band?" "Yes," she said, "but a woman gets in heat on 
account of the man, as a mare on account of the horse, 
whether the man be the husband or not; with this dif- 
ference, however, that the mare gets lusty only at cer- 
tain periods of the year, and only then receives the stal- 
lion, while a woman can always be made rampant by 
words of love.^ Both these dispositions have met within 
me, and, as my husband is absent, make haste, for he 
will soon be back." 

Bahloul replied: "Oh, my mistress, my loins hurt me 

^ Rabelais says on the subject of women who, against the 
laws of nature, go on receiving the embraces of men after 
having conceived: "And if anybody should blame them for 
allowing men to explore them when full, considering that beasts 
in the like case never endure the male to enter, they will say 
that those are beasts; but they are women, making use of their 
right of superfetation." 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 27 

and prevent me mounting upon you. You take the man's 
position, and then take my robe and let me depart. 

Then he laid himself down in the position the woman 
takes in receiving a man; and his verge was standing up 
like a column. 

Hamdonna threw herself upon Bahloul, took his mem- 
ber between her hands and began to look at it. She was 
astonished at its si2,e, strength and firmness, and cried: 
"Here we have the ruin of all women and the cause of 
many troubles. O Bahloul! I never saw a more beautiful 
dart than yours!" Still she continued keeping hold of it, 
and rubbed its head against the lips of her vulva till the 
latter part seemed to say: "O member, come into me." 

Then Bahloul inserted his member into the vagina of 
the Sultan's daughter, and she, settling down upon his 
engine, allowed it to penetrate entirely into her furnace 
till nothing more could be seen of it, not the slightest 
trace, and she said. "How lascivious has God made 
woman, and how indefatigable after her pleasures." She 
then gave herself up to an up-and'down dance, moving 
her bottom like a riddle; to the right and left, and for- 
ward and backward; never was there such a dance as 

The Sultan's daughter continued her ride upon Bah' 
loul's member till the moment of enjoyment arrived, and 
the attraction ^ of the vulva seemed to pump the member 
as though by suction: just as an infant sucks the teat of 
the mother. The acme of the enjoyment came to both 

1 The word djadeba (attraction) comes from an Arab root, 
djedeb, which means "attract, drain, pump." It appears several 
times in this work, and I believe it corresponds with a peculi' 
arity found in some favoured woman called "nut'Cracker." 

28 The Perfumed Garden 

simultaneously, and each took the pleasure with avidity. 

Then Hamdonna seized the member in order to with- 
draw it, and slowly, slowly she made it come out, saying: 
"This is the deed of a vigorous man." Then she dried 
it and her own private parts with a silken kerchief and 

Bahloul also got up and prepared to depart, but she 
said, "And the robe?" 

He answered, "Why, O mistress! You have been 
riding me, and still want a present?" 

"But," said she, "did you not tell me that you could 
not mount me on account of the pains in your loins?" 

"It matters but little," said Bahloul. "The first time it 
was your turn, the second will be mine, and the price for 
it will be the robe, and then I will go." 

Hamdonna thought to herself, "As he began he may 
now go on; afterwards he will go away." 

So she laid herself down, but Bahloul, "I shall not 
lie with you unless you undress entirely." 

Then she undressed until she was quite naked, and 
Bahloul fell into an ecstasy in seeing the beauty and per- 
fection of her form. He looked at her magnificent thighs 
and rebounding navel, at her belly vaulted like an arch, 
her plump breasts standing out like hyacinths. Her neck 
was like a ga2;elle's, the opening of her mouth like a ring, 
her lips fresh and red like a gory sabre. Her teeth might 
have been taken for pearls and her cheeks for roses. Her 
eyes were black and well slit, and her eyebrows of ebony 
resembled the rounded flourish of the noun ^ traced by 

1 Noun is a letter of the Arabian alphabet corresponding to 
our N. Its half-circular form explains the comparison made by 
the author with reference to arched eyebrows. 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men 29 

the hand of a skilful writer. Her forehead was like the 
full moon in the night. 

Bahloul began to embrace her, to suck her lips and to 
kiss her bosom; he drew her fresh saliva and bit her 
thighs. So he went on till she was ready to swoon, and 
could scarcely stammer, and her eyes got veiled. Then 
he kissed her vulva, and she moved neither hand nor 
foot. He looked lovingly upon the secret parts of Ham' 
donna, beautiful enough to attract all eyes with their 
purple centre.^ 

Bahloul cried, ''Oh, the temptation of man!" and still 
he bit her and kissed her till the desire was roused to its 
full pitch. Her sighs came quicker, and grasping his 
member with her hand she made it disappear in her 

Then it was he who moved hard, and she responded 
hotly; the overwhelming pleasure simultaneously calmed 
their fer\'our. 

Then Bahloul got off her, dried his pestle and her 
mortar, and prepared to retire. But Hamdonna said, 
"Where is the robe? You mock me, O Bahloul." He 
answered, "O my mistress, I shall only part with it for a 
consideration. You have had your dues and I mine. The 
first time was for you, the second time for me, now the 
third time shall be for the robe." 

This said, he took it off, folded it, and put it in Ham- 
donna's hands, who, having risen, laid down again on 
the couch and said, "Do what you like!" 

1 The word, which really means "biting," is used for all sorts 
of caresses in which the lips, the teeth, and even the tongue 
take part. It is, therefore, wrong to conclude from this passage 
that Bahloul indulged in the exercise of cunniiingc. 

30 The Perfumed Garden 

Forthwith Bahloul threw himself upon her, and with 
one push completely buried his member in her vagina; 
then he began to work as with a pestle, and she to move 
her bottom, until both again did flow over at the same 
time. Then he rose from her side, left his robe, and 

The negress said to Hamdonna, "O my mistress, is it 
not as I have told you? Bahloul is a bad man, and you 
could not get the better of him. They consider him as 
a subject for mockery, but, before God, he is making 
fun of them. Why would you not believe me?" 

Hamdonna turned to her and said, ''Do not tire me 
with your remarks. It came to pass what had to come 
to pass, and on the opening of each vulva is inscribed 
the name of the man who is to enter ^ it, right or wrong, 
for love or for hatred. If Bahloul's name had not been 
inscribed on my vulva he would never have got into it, 
had he offered me the universe with all it contains." 

As they were thus talking there came a knock at the 
door. The negress asked who was there, and in answer 
the voice of Bahloul said, ''It is I." Hamdonna, in doubt 
as to what the buffoon wanted to do, got frightened. 
The negress asked Bahloul what he wanted, and received 
the reply, "Bring me a little water." She went out of 
the house with a cup full of water. Bahloul drank, and 
then let the cup slip out of his hands, and it was broken. 
The negress shut the door upon Bahloul, who sat him- 
self down on the threshold. 

1 These words, "each vulva, etc." (Koul ferdj mektoub ali 
csm nakahon) allude to the phrase taken from the traditions 
left by Mohammed and often repeated by Mussulmans, "Each 
man has his destiny written on his forehead, and no one can 
take it off." 

Concerning Praiseworthy Men ol 

The buffoon being thus close to the door, the Vizii, 
Hamdonna's husband, arrived, who said to him, "Why 
do I see you here, O Bahloul?" And he answered, "O 
my lord, I was passing through this street, when I was 
overcome by a great thirst. A negress came and brought 
me a cup of water. The cup slipped from my hands and 
got broken. Then our Lady Hamdonna took my robe, 
which the Sultan our Master had given me as indemni- 

Then said the Vizir, "Let him have his robe." Ham- 
donna at this moment came out, and her husband asked 
her whether it was true that she had taken the robe in 
payment for the cup. Hamdonna then cried, beating 
her hands together, "What have you done, O Bahloul?" 
He answered, "I have talked to your husband the Ian- 
guage of my folly; talk to him, you, the language of thy 
wisdom." And she, enraptured with the cunning he had 
displayed, gave him his robe back, and he departed. 



Know, oh Vizir (and the mercy of God be with you!) 
that there are women of all sorts; that there are such as 
are worthy of praise, and such as deserve nothing but 

In order that a woman may be relished by men, she 
must have a perfect waist, and must be plump and lusty. 
Her hair will be black, her forehead wide, she will have 
eyebrows of Ethiopian blackness, large black eyes, with 
the whites in them very limpid. With cheeks of a per' 
feet oval, she will have an elegant nose and a graceful 
mouth; lips and tongue vermillion; her breath will be of 
pleasant odour, her throat long, her neck strong, her 
bust and her belly large; her breasts must be full and 
firm; her belly in good proportion, and her navel well- 
developed and marked; the lower part of the belly is to 
be large, the vulva projecting and fleshy from the point 
where the hairs grow to the buttocks; the conduit must 
be narrow and not moist, soft to the touch,-and emitting 
a strong heat and no bad smell; she must have the thighs 
and buttocks hard, the hips large and full, a waist of fine 
shape, hands and feet of striking elegance, plump arms 
and well'developed shoulders. 

Concerning Women who deserve to be Praised 33 

If one looks at a woman with those quaHties in front, 
one is fascinated; if from behind, one dies with pleasure. 
Looked at sitting, she is a rounded dome; lying, a soft 
bed; standing, the staff of a standard. When she is walk- 
ing, her natural parts appear as set off under her clothing. 
She speaks and laughs rarely, and never without a. rea- 
son. She never leaves the house even to see neighbours 
of her acquaintance. She has no woman friends, gives 
her confidence to nobody, and her husband is her sole 
reliance. She takes nothing from anyone, excepting from 
her husband and her parents. If she sees relatives she 
does not meddle with their affairs. She is not treacher- 
ous, and has no faults to hide, nor bad reasons to prof- 
fer. She does not try to entice people. If her husband 
shows the intention to fulfil the conjugal rite, she is 
agreeable to his desire and occasionally even provokes 
them. She assists him always in his affairs, and is spar- 
ing in complaints and tears; she does not laugh or re- 
joice when she sees her husband moody or sorrowful, 
but shares his troubles, and wheedles him into good hu- 
mour, till he is quite content again. She does not sur- 
render herself to anybody but her husband, even if 
abstinence would kill her. She hides her secret parts, 
and does not allow them to be seen; she is always ele- 
gantly attired, of the utmost personal propriety, and 
takes care not to let her husband see what might be 
repugnant to him. She perfumes herself with scents, 
uses antimony for her toilet, and cleans her teeth with 

Such a woman is cherished by all men. 

^ Souak is the bark of the walnut tree, which has the quahty 
to clean the teeth and redden the lips and gums. Souak means 
also toothpicks. 

34 The Perfumed Garden 


The story goes, and God knows its truth, that there was 
once a powerful king who had a large kingdom, armies 
and allies. His name was Ali ben Direme. 

One night, not being able to sleep at all, he called his 
vizir, the chief of police, and the commander of his 
guards. They presented themselves before him without 
delay, and he ordered them to arm themselves with their 
swords. They did so at once, and asked him, ''What 
news is there?" 

He told them. "The sleep will not come to me; I 
wish to walk through the town to-night, and I must 
have you ready to my hand during my round." 

"To hear is to obey," they said. 

The King then went, saying: "In the name of God! 
and may the blessing of the prophet be with us, and 
benediction and mercy be with him." 

His suite followed, and accompanied him everywhere 
from street to street. 

So they went on, when they heard a noise in one of 
the streets, and saw a man in the most violent passion 
stretched on the ground, face downwards, beating his 
breast with a stone and crying, "Ah there is no longer 
any justice here below! Is there nobody who will tell the 
King what is going on in his states?" And he repeated 
incessantly: "There is no longer any justice! she has dis' 
appeared and the whole world is in mourning." 

The King said to his attendants, "Bring this man to 

^ This name is derived from an Arab word, which means to 
be ferocious, hard, etc., etc. 

Concerning Women ivho deserve to be Praised 35 

me quietly, and be careful not to frighten him." They 
went to him, took him by the hand, and said to him, 
"Rise and have no fear — no harm will come to you." 

To which the man made answer, ''You tell me that I 
shall not come to harm, and have nothing to be afraid 
of, and still you do not bid me welcome! And you know 
that the welcome of a believer is a warrant of security 
and forgiveness.^ Then, if the believer does not wel- 
come the believer there is certainly ground for fear." 
He then got up, and went with them towards the King. 

The King stood still, hiding his face with his kaik, as 
also did his attendants. The latter had their swords in 
their hands, and leant upon them. 

When the man had come close to the King, he said, 
"Hail be with you, O man!" The King answered, "I 
return your hail, O man!" Then the man, "Why say 
you 'O man?' " The King, "And why did you say 'O 
man?' " "It is because I do not know your name." 
"And likewise I do not know yours!" 

The King then asked him, "What mean those words 
I have heard: 'Ah! there is no more justice here below! 
Nobody tells the King what is going on in his states!' 
Tell me what has happened to you." "I shall tell it only 
to that man that can avenge me and free me from op' 
pression and shame, if it so please the Almighty God!" 

The King said to him, "May God place me at your 
disposal for your revenge and deliverance from oppres' 
sion and shame?" 

^ The author plays with the word selam, which has two 
meanings — Security, the state of a man who is right and safe; 
and greeting, welcome. Es sclam alik is the formula employed 
as welcome. 

36 The Perfumed Garden 

"What I shall now tell you/' said the man, "is mar- 
vellous and surprising. I loved a woman, who loved me 
also, and we v/ere united in love. These relations lasted 
a long while, until an old woman enticed my mistress 
and took her away to a house of misfortune, shame and 
debauchery. Then sleep fled from my couch; I have 
lost all my happiness, and I have fallen into the abyss 
of misfortune." 

The King then said to him, "Which is that house of 
ill omen, and with whom is the woman?" 

The man replied, "She is with a negro of the name of 
Dorerame, who has at his house women beautiful as the 
moon, the likes of whom the King has not in his place. 
He has a mistress who has a profound love for him, is 
entirely devoted to him, and who sends him all he wants 
in the way of silver, beverages and clothing." 

Then the man stopped speaking. The King was much 
surprised at what he had heard, but the Vi2;ir, who had 
not missed a word of this conversation, had certainly 
made out, from what the man had said that the negro 
was no other than his own. 

The King requested the man to show him the house. 

"If I show it you, what will you do?" asked the man. 

"You will see what I shall do," said the King. "You 
will not be able to do anything," replied the man, "for it 
is a place which must be respected and feared. If you 
want to enter it by force you will risk death, for its 
master is redoubtable by means of his strength and 

"Show me the place," said the King, "and have no 
fear." The man said, "So be it as God will!" 

He then rose, and walked before them. They followed 
him to a wide street, where he stopped in front of a 

Concerning Women who deserve to be Praised 37 

house with lofty doors, the walls being on all sides high 
and inaccessible. 

They examined the walls, looking for a place where 
they might be scaled, but with no result. To their sur' 
prise they found the house to be as close as a breast- 

The King turned to the man and asked him, "What 
IS your name?" 

"Omar ben Isad," he replied. 

The King said to him, "Omar, are you demented?" 

"Yes, my brother," answered he, "if it so pleases God 
on high!" And turning to the King he added, "May 
God assist you to-night!" 

Then the King, addressing his attendants, said, "Are 
you determined? Is there one amongst you who could 
scale these walls?" 

"Impossible!" they all replied. 

Then said the King, "I myself will scale this wall, so 
please God on high! but by means of an expedient for 
which I require your assistance, and if you lend me the 
same I shall scale the wall, if it pleases God on high." 

They said, "What is there to be done?" 

"Tell me," said the King, "who is the strongest 
amongst you." They replied, "The chief of the police, 
who is your chaouch." 

The King said, "And who next?" 

"The commander of the guards." 

"And after him, who?" asked the King. 

"The Grand Vizir." 

Omar listened with astonishment. He knew now that, 
it v/as the King, and his joy was great.. 

The King said, "Who is there yet?" 

Omar replied, "I, O my master." 

38 The Perfumed Garden 

The King said to him, "Omar, you have found out 
who we are; but do not betray our disguise, and you 
will be absolved from blame." 

"To hear is to obey,*" said Omar. 
The King then said to the chaouch, "Rest your hands 
against the wall so that your back projects." 

The chaouch did so. 

Then said the King to the commander of the guards, 
"Mount upon the back of the chaouch." He did so, and 
stood with his feet on the other men's shoulders. Then 
the King ordered the Vi2;ir to mount, and he got on the 
shoulders of the commander of the guards, and put his 
hands against the wall. 

Then said the King, "O Omar, mount upon the high' 
est place!" And Omar, surprised by this expedient, 
cried, "May God lend you his help, O our master, and 
assist you in your just enterprise!" He then got oh to 
the shoulders of the chaouch, and from there upon the 
back of the commander of the guards, and then upon 
that of the Vi2;ir, and, standing upon the shoulders of 
the latter, he took the same position as the others. There 
was now only the King left. 

Then the King said, "In the name of God! and his 
blessing be vnth the prophet, upon whom the mercy 
and salutation of God!" and, placing his hand upon the 
back of the chaouch, he said, "Have a moment's pa' 
tience; if I succeed you will be compensated!" He then 
did the same with the others, until he got upon Omar's 
back, to v/hom he also said, "O Omar, have a moment's 
patience with me, and I shall name you my private sec 
retary. And, of all things do not move!" Then, placing 
his feet upon Omar's shoulders, the King could with his 

Concerning Women ivho deserve to be Praised 39 

hands grasp the terrace, and crying, ''In the name of 
God! may he pour his blessings upon the prophet, to 
whom come the mercy and salutation of God!" And 
with that he made a spring, and stood upon the terrace. 

Then he said to his attendants, "Descend now from 
each other's shoulders!" 

And they got down one after another, and they could 
not help admiring the ingenious idea of the King, as 
well as the strength of the chaouch who carried four 
men at once. 

The King then began to look for a place for descend- 
ing, but found no passage. He unrolled his turban, fixed 
one end with a single knot at the place where he was, 
and let himself down into the courtyard, which he ex- 
plored until he found the portal in the middle of the 
house fastened with an enormous lock. The solidity of 
this lock, and the obstacle it created, gave him a dis- 
agreeable surprise. He said to himself, '1 am now in a 
difficulty, but all comes from God; it was he who gave 
me the strength and the idea that brought me here; he 
will also provide the means for me to return to my 

He then set himself to examine the place where he 
found himself, and counted the chambers one after an- 
other. He found seventeen chambers or rooms, fur- 
nished in different styles, with tapestries and velvet 
hangings of various colours, from the first to the last. 

Examining all round, he saw a place raised by seven 
stair-steps, from which issued a great noise from voices. 
He went up to it, saying, ''O God! favour my project, 
and let me come safe and sound out of here. 

He mounted on the first step, saying, "In the name of 
God the mild and merciful!" Then he began to look at 

40 The Perfumed Garden 

the steps, which were of variously coloured marble — 
black, red, white, green and other shades. 

Mounting the second step, he said, "He whom God 
helps is invincible!" 

On the third step he said, "With the aid of God the 
victory is near." 

And on the fourth, "I have asked for victory of God, 
who is the most auxiliary." 

Finally he mounted the fifth, sixth, and seventh step 
invoking the prophet (with whom be the mercy and 
salvation of God). 

He arrived then at the curtain hanging at the en- 
trance; it was of red brocade. From there he examined 
the room, which was bathed in light, filled with many 
chandeliers, and candles burning in golden sconces. In 
the middle of this saloon played a jet of musk'water. A 
table-cloth extended from end to end,^ covered with 
sundry meats and fruits. 

The saloon was provided with gilt furniture, the splen- 
dour of which da2;2;led the eye. In fact, everywhere 
there were ornaments of all kinds. 

On looking closer the King ascertained that round that 
table-cloth there were twelve maidens and seven women, 
all like moons; he was astonished at their beauty and 
grace. There were likewise with them seven negroes, 
and this view filled him with surprise. His attention was 
above all attracted by a woman like the full moon, of 
perfect beauty, with black eyes, oval cheeks, and a lithe 

1 The Arabs eat lying on carpets and cushions; they do not 
make use of tables, but have a table-cloth made of leather 
or stuff which is stretched on the ground for putting the dishes 
on. This table-cloth is called sefra. 

Concerning Women who deserve to be Praised 41 

and graceful waist; she humbled the hearts of those who 
got enamoured with her. 

Stupified by her beauty, the King was like stunned. 
He then said to himself, ''How is there any getting out 
of this place? O my spirit, do not give way to love!" 

And continuing his inspection of the room, he per' 
ceived in the hands of those who were present glasses 
filled with wine. They were drinking and eating, and it 
was easy to see they were overcome with drink. 

While the King was thinking how to get out of his 
embarrassment he heard one of the women saying to 
one of her companions, calling her by name, "Oh, so 
and so, rise and light a torch, so that we can go to bed, 
for the sleep is overpowering us. Come, light the torch 
and let us retire to the other chamber." 

They rose and lifted up the curtain to leave the room. 
The King hid himself to let them pass out; then, per' 
ceiving that they had left their chamber to do a thing 
necessary and obligatory to human kind, he took advan' 
tage of their absence, entered their apartment, and hid 
himself in a cupboard. 

Whilst the King was thus in hiding the women re 
turned and shut the doors. Their reason Vs^as obscure 
by the fumes of wine; they pulled off all their clothes 
and began to caress each other mutually.^ 

The King said to himself, "Omar has told me true 
about this house of misfortune as an abyss of debauch' 

When the women had fallen asleep the King rose, ex- 

^ The text says literally, "They set to work on each other 

42 The Perfumed Garden 

tinguished the light, undressed, and laid down between 
the two. He had taken care during their conversation 
to impress their names on his memory. So he was able 
to say to one of them, "You — so and so — where have 
you put the door-keys?" speaking very low. 

The woman answered, "Go to sleep, you whore, the 
keys are at their usual place." 

The King said to himself, "There is no might and 
strength but in God the Almighty and Benevolent!" and 
was much troubled. 

And again he asked the woman about the keys, say 
ing, "Daylight is coming. I must open the doors. There 
is the sun. I am going to open the house." 

And she answered, "The keys are in the usual place. 
Why do you thus bother me? Sleep, I say, till it is 

And again the King said to himself, "There is no 
might and strength but in God the Almighty and Bene- 
volent, and surely if it were not for the fear of God I 
should run my sword through her." Then he began 
again, "Oh, you so and so!" 

She said, "What do you want?" 

"I am uneasy," said the King, "about the keys; tell 
me where they are?" 

And she answered, "You hussy! Does your vulva itch 
for coition? Cannot you do without for a single night? 
Look! the Vi2iir''s wife has withstood all the entreaties of 
the negro, and repelled him since six months! Go, the 
keys are in the negro's pocket. Do not say to him, 'Give 
me the keys'; but say, 'Give me your member.' You 
know his name is Dorerame." 

Concerning Women who deserve to he Praised 43 

The King was now silent, for he knew what to do. 
He waited a short time till the woman was asleep; then 
he dressed himself in her clothes, and concealed his 
sword under them; his face he hid under a veil of red 
silk. Thus dressed he looked like other women. He 
then opened the door, stole softly out, and placed him- 
self behind the curtains of the saloon entrance. He saw 
only some people sitting there; the remainder were 

The King made the following silent prayer, "O my 
soul, let me follow the right way, and let all those people 
among whom I find myself be stunned with drunken- 
ness, so that they cannot know the King from his sub- 
jects, and God give me strength." 

He then entered the saloon saying: "In the name of 
God!" and he tottered towards the bed of the negro as 
if drunk. The negroes and the women took him to be 
the woman whose attire he had taken. 

Dorerame had a great desire to have his pleasure with 
that woman, and when he saw her sit down by the bed 
he thought that she had broken her sleep to come to him, 
perhaps for love games. So he said, "Oh, you, so-and-so, 
undress and get into my bed, I shall soon be back." 

The King said to himself, "There is no might and 
strength but in the High God, the Benevolent!" Then 
he searched for the keys in the clothes and pockets of 
the negro, but found nothing. He said, "God's will be 
done!" Then raising his eyes, he saw a high window; 
he reached up with his arm, and found gold embroidered 
garments there; he slipped his hands into the pockets, 
and, oh, surprised! he found the keys there. He exam- 
ined them and counted seven, corresponding to the num- 
ber of the doors of the house, and in his joy, he ex- 

44 The Perfumed Garden 

claimed, ''God be praised and glorified!" Then he said, 
''I can only get out of here by a ruse." Then feigning 
sickness, and appearing as if he wanted to vomit vio' 
lently, he held his hand before his mouth, and hurried 
to the centre of the courtyard. The negro said to him, 
"God bless you! oh, so'and-so! any other women would 
have been sick into the bed!" 

The King then went to the inner door of the house, 
and opened it; he closed it behind him, and so from one 
door to the other, till he came to the seventh, which 
opened upon the street. Here he found his companions 
again, who had been in great anxiety, and who asked 
him what he had seen? 

Then said the King: ''This is not the time to answer. 
Let us go into this house with the blessing of God and 
with his help." 

They resolved to be upon their guard, there being in 
the house seven negroes, twelve maidens and seven 
women, beautiful as moons. 

The Wizir asked the King, "What garments are 
these?" And the King answered, "Be silent; without 
them I should never have got the keys." 

He then went to the chamber where the two women 
were, with whom he had been lying, took off the clothes 
in which he was dressed, and resumed his own, taking 
good care of his sword. He then went to the saloon, 
where the negroes and the women were, and he and his 
companions ranged themselves behind the door-curtain. 

After having had a look into the saloon, they said, 
"Amongst all these women there is none more beautiful 
than the one seated on the elevated cushion!" The King 

Concerning Women ivho deserve to be Praised 45 

said, '1 reserve her for myself, if she does not belong to 
someone else/' 

While they were examining the interior of the saloon, 
Dorerame descended from the bed, and after him one of 
the beautiful women. Then another negro got on the 
bed with another woman, and so on till to the seventh. 
They rode them in this way one after the other, except- 
ing the beautiful woman mentioned above, and the maid- 
ens. Each of these women appeared to mount upon the 
bed with marked reluctance, and descended, after the 
coition was finished, with the head bent down. 

However, the negroes were lusting after, and pressing 
one after the other, the beautiful woman. But she 
spurned them all, saying, "I shall never consent to it, 
and as to these virgins, I take them also under my pro- 

Dorerame then rose and went up to her, holding in 
his hands his member in full erection, stiff as a pillar.^ 
He hit her with it on the face and head, saying, "Six 
times this night I was pressing you to cede to my de- 
sires, and you always refuse; but now I must have you, 
even this night." 

When the woman saw the stubbornness of the negro 
and the state of drunkenness he was in, she tried to 
soften him by promises. "Sit down here by me," she 
said, "and tonight thy desires shall be contented." 

The negro sat down near her with his member still 
erect as a column. The King could scarcely master his 

^ The Arabian text has it Hterally, Ou airouhou kaime bine 
iadihi ki el eumoud. Eumoud signifies "pillar, column." 

46 The Perfumed Garden 

The woman began to sing the following verses, inton- 
ing them from the bottom of her heart: 

"I prefer the young man for coition, and him only; 

He is of courage full — he is my sole ambition, 

His member is strong to deflower the virgin. 

And richly proportioned in all its dimensions; 

It has a head alike to a brazier. 

Enormous, and none like it in creation; 

Strong it is and hard, and with the head rounded off, 

It is always ready for action and does not die down; 

It never sleeps, owing to the violence of its love. 

It sighs to enter my vulva, and sheds tears on my belly; 

It asks not for help, not being in want of any; 

It needs no ally, and stands alone the greatest fatigues, 

And nobody can be sure of what will result from its efforts. 

Full of vigour and life, it bores into my vagina, 

And it works about there in action constant and splendid. 

First from the front to the back, and then from right to left; 

Now it is crammed hard in by vigorous pressure, 

Now it rubs its head on the orifice of my vagina. 

And he strokes my back, my stomach, my sides. 

Kisses my cheeks, and anon begins to suck at my lips. 

He embraces me close, and makes me roll on the bed, 

And between his arms I am like a corpse without life. 

Every part of my body receives in turn his love-bites. 

And he covers me with kisses of fire; 

When he sees me in heat he quickly comes to me. 

Then he opens my thighs and kisses my belly. 

And he puts his tool in my hand to make it knock at my door. 

Soon he is in the cave, and I feel the pleasure approaching. 

He shakes me and thrills me, and hotly we both are working, 

And he says, 'Receive my seed!' and I answer, 'Oh give it, 

beloved one! 
It shall be welcome to me, you light of my eyes! 
Oh, you man of all men, who fillest me with pleasure. 
Oh, you soul of my soul, go on with fresh vigour. 
For you must not yet withdraw it from me; leave it there, 
And this day will then be finished free of all sorrow.' 
He has sworn to God to have me for seventy nights. 
And what he wished for he did in the way of kisses and em' 

braces during all those nights." 

Concerning Women tvho deserve to be Praised 47 

Vvhea she had finished the King, in great surprise, 
said, "How lascivious has God made this woman." And 
turning to his companions, ''There is no doubt that this 
woman has no husband, and has not been debauched, 
for, certainly that negro is in love with her, and she has 
nevertheless repulsed him." 

Omar ben Isad took the word, "This is true, O King! 
Her husband has been now away for nearly a year, and 
many men have endeavoured to debauch her, but she 
has resisted. 

The King asked, "Who is her husband?" And after 
his companions answered, "She is the wife of the son of 
your father's Vizir." 

The King replied, "You speak true; I have indeed 
heard it said that the son of my father's Vizir had a 
wife without fault, endowed with beauty and perfection 
and of exquisite shape; not adulterous and innocent of 

"This is the same woman," they said. 

The King said, "No matter how, but I must have her," 
and turning to Omar, he added, "Where, amongst these 
women, is your mistress?" Omar answered, "I do not 
see her, O King!" Upon which the King said, "Have 
patience, I will show her to you." Omar was quite sur- 
prised to find that the King knew so much. "And this 
then is the negro Dorerame?" asked the King. "Yes, 
and he is a slave of mine," answered the Vizir. "Be 
silent, this is not the time to speak," said the King. 

While this discourse was going on, the negro Dore- 
rame, still desirous of obtaining the favours of that lady, 
said to her, "I am tired of your lies, O Beder el Bedour" 
(full moon of the full moons), for so she called herself. 

48 The Perfumed Garden 

The King said, "He who called her so called her by 
her true name, for she is the full moon of the full moons, 
afore God!" 

However, the negro wanted to draw the woman away 
with him, and hit her in the face. 

The King, mad with jealousy, and with his heart full 
of ire, said to the Vi^ir, "Look what your negro is do' 
ing! By God! he shall die the death of a villain, and I 
shall make an example of him, and a warning to those 
who would imitate him!" 

At that moment the King heard the lady say to the 
negro, "You are betraying your master the Vizir with his 
wife, and now you betray her, in spite of your intimacy 
with her and the favours she grants to you.^ And surely 
she loves you passionately, and you are pursuing another 

The King said to the Vizir, "Listen, and do not speak 
a word." 

The lady then rose and returned to the place where 
she had been before, and began to recite: 

"Oh, men! listen to what I say on the subject of women,^ 

For her thirst for coition is written between her eyes. 

Do not put trust in her vows, and were she the Sultan's 

Woman's malice is boundless; not even the King of kings 
Would suffice to subdue it, what'er be his might. 
Men, take heed and shun the love of woman! 
Do not say, 'Such a one is my well beloved'; 

^ You are betraying your master," etc., etc. By this phrase 
is rendered a passage in the text which runs, "You betray the 
salt, and you betray the wife of the Vizir." "To betray the 
salt" is a figurative phrase in allusion to the Oriental usage of 
hospitality in offering salt, and signifies "betraying the host, the 
master, the hand that nourishes." 

2 "Women's nature is represented to us by the moon." — 
(Rabelais, book iii., chap, xxxii.) 

Concerning Wo'^nen ivho deserve to he Praised 49 

Do not say, 'She is my life's companion.' 

If I deceive you, then say my words are untruths. 

As long as she is with you in bed, you have her love. 

But a woman's love is not enduring, believe me. 

Lying upon her breast, you are her love-treasure; 

Whilst the coition goes on, you have her love, poor fool! 

But, anon, she looks upon you as a fiend; 

And this is a fact undoubted and certain. 

The wife receives the slave in the bed of the master. 

And the serving'men allay upon her their lust. 

Certain it is, such conduct is not to be praised and honored. 

But the virtue of women is frail and changeful, 

And the man thus deceived is looked upon with contempt. 

Therefore a man with a heart should not put trust in a woman." 

At these words the Vizir began to cry, but the King 
bade him to be quiet. Then the negro recited the fol- 
lowing verses in response to those of the lady: 

"We negroes have had our fill of women, 

We fear not their tricks, however subtle they be. 

Ivlen confide in us with regard to what they cherish. ^ 

This is no He remember, but is the truth, as you know. 

Oh, you women all! for sure you have no patience when the 

virile member you are wanting. 
For in the same resides your life and death; 
It is the end and all of your wishes, secret or open. 
If your choler and ire are aroused against your husbands, 
They appease you simply by introducing their members. 
Your religion resides in your vulva, and the manly member is 

your soul. 
Such you will always find in the nature of woman." 

1 This verse alludes to the fact that negroes, as domestics, 
are considered as an inferior class, who are allowed to come 
near women, as incapable of making an impression. 

50 The Perfumed Garden 

With that, the negro threw himself upon the woman, 
who pushed him back. 

At this moment the King felt his heart oppressed; he 
drew his sword, as did his companions, and they entered 
the room. The negroes and v/omen saw nothing but 
brandished swords. 

One of the negroes rose, and rushed upon the King 
and his companions, but the Chaouch severed with one 
blow his head from his body. The King cried, ''God's 
blessing upon you! Your arm is not withered and your 
mother has not borne a weakling. You have struck 
down your enemies, and the paradise shall be your 
dwelling and place of rest!" 

Another negro got up and aimed a blow at the 
Chaouch, which broke the sword of the Chaouch in 
twain. It had been a beautiful weapon, and the Chaouch, 
on seeing it ruined, broke out into the most violent pas' 
sion; he sei2;ed the negro by the arm, lifted him up, and 
threvN^ him against the wall, breaking his bones. Then 
the King cried, "God is great. He has not dried up 
your hand. Oh, what a Chaouch! God grant you his 

The negroes, when they saw this, were cowed and 
silent, and the King, master now of their lives, said, 
"The man that lifts his hand only, shall lose his head!" 
And he commanded that the remaining five negroes 
should have their hands tied behind their backs. 

This having been done, he turned to Beder el Bedour 
and asked her, "Whose wife are you, and who is this 

She then told him on that subject what he had heard 
already from Omar. And the King thanked her s .ying, 

Concerning Women toho deserve to he Praised 51 

"May God give you his blessing." He then asked her, 
"Ho long can a woman patiently do without coition?" 
She seemed ama2;ed, but the King said, "Speak, and do 
not be abashed." 

She then answered, "A well-born lady of high origin 
can remain for six months without; but a lowly woman 
of no race nor high blood, who does not respect herself 
when she can lay her hand upon a man, will have him 
upon her; his stomach and his member will know her 

Then said the King, pointing to one of the women, 
"Who is this one?" She answered, "This is the wife of 
the Kadi." "And this one?" "The wife of the second 
Vi2;ir." "And this?" "The wife of the chief of the 
Muftis." "And that one?" "The Treasurer's." "And 
those two women that are in the other room?" She 
answered, "They have received the hospitality of the 
house, and one of them was brought here yesterday by 
an old woman; the negro has so far not got possession 
of her." 

Then said Omar. "This is the one I spoke to you 
about, O my master." 

"And the other woman? To whom does she be- 
long?" said the King. 

"She is the wife of the Amine ^ of the carpenters," 
answered she. 

Then said the King, "And these girls, who are they?" 

She answered, "This one is the daughter of the clerk 

of the treasury; this other one the daughter of the 

'^ The title Amine corresponds to our councillor; syndic. 

52 The Perfumed Garden 

Mohtesib,^ the third is the daughter of the Bouab; ^ the 
next one the daughter of the Amine of the Moueddin; ^ 
that one the daughter of the colour-keeper." * At the 
invitation of the King, she passed them thus all in re 

The King then asked for the reason of so many 
women being brought together there. 

Beder el Bedour replied, "O master of ours, the negro 
knows no other passions than for coition and good wine. 
He keeps making love night and day, and his member 
rests only when he is asleep himself." 

The King asked further, "What does he live upon?" 

She said, "Upon yolks of eggs fried in fat and swim- 
ming in honey, and upon white bread; he drinks nothing 
but old muscatel wine." 

The King said, "Who has brought these women here, 
who, all of them, belong to officials of the State?" 

She replied, "O master of ours, he has in his service 
an old woman who has had the run of the houses in the 
town; she chooses and brings to him any woman of 
superior beauty and perfection; but she serves him only 
against good consideration in silver, dresses, etc., pre- 
cious stones, rubies, and other objects of value." 

1 The Mohtesib is a commissioner of the police, charged with 
surveying weights and measures. 

2 Bouab signifies an usher. 

^ The Moueddin are the criers, who call from the top of the 
Mosques the true believers to prayers. 

* The Oriental sovereigns having a great number of flags, 
standards, etc., which are carried before them on the occasions 
of state ceremonials, and which they take with them to their 
wars, the keeper of those colours is a man of importance. 

Concerning Women who deserve to be Praised 53 

"And whence does the negro get the silver?" asked 
the King. The lady remaining silent, he added, "Give 
me some information, please." 

She signified with a sign from the corner of her eye 
that he had got it all from the wife of the Grand Vizir. 

The King understood her, and continued, "O Beder el 
Bedour! I have faith and confidence in you, and your 
testimony will have in my eyes the value of that of the 
two Adds.* Speak to me without reserve as to what 
concerns yourself." 

She answered him, "I have not been touched, and 
however long this might have lasted the negro would 
not have got his desire satisfied." 

"Is this so?" asked the King. 

She replied, "It is so!" She had understood what the 
King wanted to say, and the King has seized the mean- 
ing of her words. 

"Has the negro respected my honour? Inform me 
about that," said the King. 

She answered, "He has respected your honour as far 
as your wives are concerned. He has not pushed his 
criminal deeds that far; but if God has spared his days 
there is no certainty that he would not have tried to soil 
what he should have respected." 

The King having asked her then who those negroes 
were, she answered, "They are his companions. After 
he has quite surfeited himself with the women which he 
had got brought to him, he handed them over to them, 
as you have seen. If it were not for the protection of 
a woman where would that man be?" 

1 The two Adels (Adeline) are the two sworn witnesses who 
assist the Cadi when he sits in judgment. 

54 The Perfumed Garden 

Then spoke the King, "O Beder el Bedour, why did 
not your husband ask my help against this oppression? 
Why did you not complain?" 

She replied, "O King of the time, O beloved Sultan, 
O master of numerous armies and allies! As regards my 
husband I was so far unable to inform him of my lot; 
as to myself I have nothing to say but what you know 
by the verses I sung just now. I have given advice to 
men about women from the first verse to the last." 

The King said, "O Beder el Bedour! I like you, I have 
put the question to you in the name of the chosen Pro- 
phet (the benediction and mercy of God be with him!). 
Inform me of everything; you have nothing to fear; I 
give you the aman ^ complete. Has this negro not en- 
joyed you? For I presume that none of you were out 
of reach of his attempts and had your honours safe." 

She replied, "O King of our time, in the name of your 
high rank and your power! Look! He, about whom 
you ask me, I would not have accepted him as a legi' 
mate husband; how could I have consented to grant him 
the favour of an illicit love?" 

The King said, "You appear to be sincere, but the 
verses I heard you sing have roused doubts in my soul." 

She replied, "I had three motives to hold that Ian' 
guage. Firstly, I was at that moment in heat, like a 
young mare; secondly, Eblis had excited my natui"al 
parts, and lastly, I wanted to quiet the negro and make 
him have patience, so that he should grant me some 
delay and leave me in peace until God would deliver 
me of him." 

1 The aman, that is the pardon, absolution, protection; this 
is a compact or treaty of indemnity. 

Concerning Womeyi who deserve to be Praised 55 

The King said, "Do you speak seriously?" She was 
silent. Then the King cried, "O Beder el Bedour, you 
alone shall be pardoned!" She understood that it was 
she only that the King would spare from the punishment 
of death. He then cautioned her that she must keep the 
secret, and said he wanted to leave now. 

Then all the women and virgins approached Beder el 
Bedour and implored her, saying, "Intercede for us, for 
you have power over the King"; and they shed tears 
over her hands, and in despair threw themselves down. 

Beder el Bedour then called the King back, who was 
going, and said to him, "O our master! you have not 
granted me any favour yet." "How," said he, "I have 
sent for a beautiful mule for you; you will mount her 
and come with us. As for these women, they must all 
of them die." 

She then said, "O our master! I ask you and conjure 
you to authorize me to make a stipulation which you 
will accept." The King made oath that he would fulfil 
it. Then she said, "I ask as a gift the pardon of all 
these women and of all these maidens. Their deaths 
would moreover throw the most terrible consternation 
over the whole town." 

The King said, "There is no might nor power but in 
God, the merciful!" He then ordered the negroes to be 
taken out and beheaded. The only exception he made 
was with the negro Dorerame, who was enormously 
stout and had a neck like a bull. They cut off his ears, 
nose, and lips; Hkewise his virile member, which they 
put into his mouth, and then hung him on a gallows. 

Then the King ordered the seven doors of the house 
to be closed, and returned to his palace. 

56 The Perfumed Garden 

At sunrise he sent a mule to Beder el Bedour, in order 
to let her be brought to him. He made her dwell with 
him, and found her to be excelling all those who excel. 

Then the King caused the wife of Omar ben Isad to 
be restored to him, and he made him his private sec- 
retary. Then he ordered the Vizir to repudiate his wife. 
He did not forget the Chaouch and the commander of 
the guards, to whom he made large presents, as he had 
promised, using for that purpose the negro's hoards. 
He sent the son of his father's Vi^ir to prison. He also 
caused the old gO'between to be brought before him, 
and then asked her, ''Give me all the particulars about 
the conduct of the negro, and tell me whether it was 
well done to bring in that way women to men." She 
answered, "This is the trade of nearly all old women." 
He then had her executed, as well as all old women who 
followed that trade, and thus cut off in his State the 
tree of panderism as the root, and burnt the trunk. 

He besides sent back to their families the women and 
girls, and bade them repent in the name of God. 

This story presents but a small part of the tricks and 
stratagems used by women against their husbands. 

The moral of the tale is, that a man who falls in love 
with a woman imperils himself, and exposes himself to 
the greatest troubles. 



Know, O my brother (to whom God be merciful), that 
a man who is misshapen, of coarse appearance, and 
whose member is short, thin and flabby, is contemptible 
in the eyes of women. 

When such a man has a bout with a woman, he does 
not do her business with the vigour and in a manner to 
give her enjoyment. He lays himself down upon her 
without previous toying, he does not kiss her, nor twine 
himself round her, he does not bite her, nor suck her 
lips, nor tickle her. 

He gets upon her before she has begun longing for 
pleasure, and then he introduces with infinite trouble a 
member soft and nerveless. Scarcely has he commenced 
when he is already done for; he makes one or two move- 
ments, and then sinks upon the woman's breast to spend 
his sperm, and that is the most he can do. This done 
he withdraws his affair, and makes all haste to get down 
again from her. 

Such a man — as was said by a writer — is quick in 
ejaculation and slow as to erection; after the trembling, 
which follows the ejaculation of the seed, his chest is 
heavy and his sides ache. 

Qualities like those arc no recommendations with 
women. Despicable also is the man who is false to his 
words; who does not fulfil the promise he has made; who 

68 The Perfumed Garden 

never speaks without telling lies, and who conceals from 
his wife all his doings, except the adulterous exploits 
which he commits. 

Women cannot esteem such men, as they cannot prO' 
cure them any enjoyment. 

It is said that a man of the name of Abbes, whose 
member was extremely small and slight, had a very cor' 
pulent wife, whom he could not contrive to satisfy in 
coition, so that she soon began to complain to her fe- 
male friends about it. 

This woman possessed a considerable fortune, whilst 
Abbes was very poor; and when he wanted anything, 
she was sure not to let him have what he wanted. 

One day he went to see a wise man, and submitted 
his case to him. 

The sage told him: "If you had a fine member you 
might dispose of her fortune. Do you not know that 
women's religion is in their vulva's? But I will prescribe 
you a remedy which will do away with your troubles." 

Abbes lost no time to make up the remedy according 
to the recipe of the wise man, and after he had used it 
his member grew to be long and thick. When his wife 
saw it in that state she was surprised, but it came still 
better when he made her feel in the matter of enjoy 
ment quite another thing than she had been accustomed 
to experience; he began in fact to work her with his 
tool in a quite remarkable manner to such point that she 
rattled and sighed and sobbed and cried out during the 

As soon as the wife found in her husband such emi' 
nently good qualities she gave him her fortune, and 
placed her person and all she had at his disposal. 



Know, O Vizir (to whom God be merciful) , that women 
differ in their natural dispositions: there are women who 
are worthy of all praise; and there are, on the other 
hand, women who only merit contempt. 

The woman who merits the contempt of the men is 
ugly and garrulous; her hair is wooly, her forehead pro- 
jecting, her eyes are small and blear, the nose is enor- 
mous, the lips lead-coloured, the mouth large, the cheeks 
wrinkled and she shows gaps in her teeth; her cheek- 
bones shine purple, and she sports bristles on her chin; 
her head sits on a meagre neck, with very much devel- 
oped tendons; her shoulders are contracted and her chest 
is narrow, with flabby pendulous breasts, and her belly 
is like an empty leather-bottle, with the navel standing 
out like a heap of stones; her flanks are shaped like ar- 
cades; the bones of her spinal column may be counted; 
there is no flesh upon her croup; her vulva is large and 
cold, and exhales an odour of carrion; it is hairless, pale 
and wet, with a long hard, greasy clitoris projecting 
out of it. 

Finally, such a woman has large knees and feet,^ big 
hands and emaciated legs. 

A woman with such blemishes can give no pleasure 
to men in general, and least of all to him who is her 
husband or who enjoys her favours. 

1 "Feet like a guitar." — (Rabelais, book iv., chap, ixxi.) 

60 The Perfumed Garden 

The man who approaches a woman Hke that with his 
member in erection will find it presently soft and re- 
laxed, as though he was only close to a beast of burden. 
May God keep us from a woman of that description! 

Contemptible is likewise the woman who is constantly 
laughing out; for, as it was said by an author, "If you see 
a woman who is always laughing, found of gaming and 
jesting, always running to her neighbours, meddling with 
matters that are no concern of hers, plaguing her hus' 
band with constant complaints, leaguing herself with 
other women against him, playing the grand lady, ac 
cepting gifts from everybody, know that that woman is 
a whore without shame." 

And again to be despised is the woman of a sombre, 
frowning nature, and one who is prolific in talk; the 
woman who is lightheaded in her relations with men, or 
contentious, or fond of tittle-tattle and unable to keep 
her husband's secrets, or who is malicious. The woman 
of a malicious nature talks only to tell lies; if she makes 
a promise she does so only to break it, and if anybody 
confides in her, she betrays him; she is debauched, thiev- 
ish, a scold, coarse and violent; she cannot give good 
advice; she is always occupied with the affairs of other 
people, and with such as bring harm, and is always on 
the watch for frivolous news; she is fond of repose,' but 
not of work; she uses unbecoming words in addressing a 
Mussulman, even to her husband; invectives are always 
at her tongue's end; she exhales a bad odour which in- 
fects you, and sticks to you even after you have left her. 

And no less contemptible is she who talks to no pur- 
pose, who is a hypocrite and does no good act; she, who, 
when her husband asks her to fulfil the conjugal office, 

About Women ivho are to be held in Contempt 61 

refuses to listen to his demand; the woman who does not 
assist her husband in his affairs; and finally, she who 
plagues him with unceasing complaints and tears. 

A woman of that sort, seeing her husband irritated or 
in trouble does not share his affliction; on the contrary, 
she laughs and jests all the more, and does not try to 
drive away his ill-humour by endearments. She is more 
prodigal with her person to other men than to her hus- 
band; it is not for his sake that she adorns herself, and 
it is not to please him that she tries to look well. Far 
from that; with him she is very untid}', and does not 
care to let him see things and habits about her person 
which must be repugnant to him. Lastly, she never 
uses either Atsmed nor Souak.^ 

No happiness can be hoped for a man with such a 
wife. God keep us from such a one! 

^ Atsmed is antimony, of which an eye-salve is made. The 
women blacken the inside of the eyelids with it, to make the 
eyes appear to look larger and more briUiant. 


Know, O Vizir (and God protect you!), that if you wish 
for coition, that in joining the woman you should have 
your stomach not loaded with food and drink, only in 
that condition will your cohabitation be wholesome and 
good. If your stomach is full, only harm can come of it 
to both of you; you will have symptoms of apoplexy and 
gout, and the least evil that will be the consequence of 
it will be the inability of passing your urine or weak' 
ness of sight. 

Let your stomach then be free from excessive food 
and drink, and you need not apprehend any illness. 

Before setting to work with your wife excite her with 
toying, so that the copulation will finish to your mutual 

Thus it will be well to play with her before you intro- 
duce your verge and accomplish the cohabitation. You 
will excite her by kissing her cheeks, sucking her lips and 
nibbling at her breasts. Lavish kisses on her navel and 
thighs, and titillate the lower parts. Bite her arms, and 
neglect no part of her body; cling close to her chest, a'nd 
show your love and submission. Interlace your legs with 
hers, and press her in your arms, for, as the poet has said: 

"Under her neck my right hand has served her for a cushion, 

And to draw her to me 

I have sent out my left hand, 

Which bore her up as a bed." 

When you are close to a woman, and you see her eyes 
getting dim, and hear her, yearning for coition, heave 
deep sighs, then let your and her yearning be joined into 
one, and let your lubricity rise to the highest point; for 

Relating to the Act of Generation 63 

this will be the moment most favourable to the game of 
love. The pleasure which the woman then feels will be 
extreme; as for yourself, you will cherish her all the 
more, and she will continue her affection for you, for it 
has been said: 

"If you see a woman heaving deep sighs, with her lips 
getting red and her eyes languishing, when her mouth 
half opens and her movements get heedless; when she 
appears to be disposed to go to sleep, vascillating in her 
steps and prone to yawn, know that this is the moment 
for coition, and if you there and then make your way 
into her you will procure for her an unquestionable 
treat. You yourself will find the mouth of her womb 
clasping your article, which is undoubtedly the crown' 
ing pleasure for both, for this before everything begets 
affection and love." 

Thé following precepts, coming from a profound con- 
noisseur in love affairs, are well known: 

"Woman is like a fruit, which will not yield its sweet' 
ness until you rub it between your hands. Look at the 
basil plant; if you do not rub it warm with your fingers 
it will not emit any scent. Do you not know that the 
amber, unless it be handled and warmed, keeps hidden 
within its pores the aroma contained in it? It is the 
same with woman. If you do not animate her with your 
toying, intermixed with kissing, nibbling and touching, 
you will not obtain from her what you are wishing; you 
wûl feel no enjoyment when you share her couch, and 
you will waken in her heart neither inclination nor affec 
tion, nor love for you; all her qualities will remain hid' 

It is reported that a man, having asked a woman what 
means were the most likely to create affection in the 
female heart, with respect to the pleasures of coition, 

64 The Perfumed Garden 

received confidentially the following answer: — 

"'O you who question me, what develops the taste for 
coition are the toyings and touches which precede it, and 
then the close embrace at the moment of the ejaculation! 

"Believe me, the kisses, nibblings, suction of the lips, 
the close embrace, the visits of the mouth to the nipples 
of the bosom, and the sipping of the fresh saliva, these 
are the things to render affection lasting. 

"In acting thus, the two ejaculations take place simul- 
taneously, and the enjoyment comes to the man and 
woman at the same moment. Then the man feels the 
womb grasping his member, which gives to each of them 
the most exquisite pleasure. 

"This it is which gives birth to love, and if matters 
have not been managed this way the woman has not had 
her full share of pleasure, and the delights of the womb 
are wanting. Know that the woman will not feel her 
desires satisfied, and will not love her rider unless he is 
able to act up to her womb; but when the womb is made 
to enter into action she will feel the most violent love 
for her cavalier, even if he be unsightly in appearance. 

"Then do all you can to cause a simultaneous dis' 
charge of the two spermal fluids; herein lies the secret 
of love." 

One of the savants who has occupied himself with 
this subject thus relates the confidences a woman made 
to him: 

"O you men, one and all, who are soliciting the love 
of woman and her affection, and who wish that senti' 
ment in her heart to be of an enduring nature, toy Vv'ith 
her previous to coition; prepare her for the enjoyment, 
and neglect nothing to attain that end. Explore her 
with the greater assiduity, and, entirely occupied with 

Relating to the Act of Generation 65 

her, let nothing else engage your thoughts. Do not let 
the propitious moment for enjoyment pass away; that 
moment will be when you see her eyes humid, half 
open. Then go to work, but, remember, not till your 
kisses and toyings have taken effect. 

''After you have got the woman into a proper state of 
excitement, O men! put your member into her, and, if 
you then observe the proper movements, she will expe- 
rience a pleasure which will satisfy all her desires. 

"Lie on her breast, rain kisses on her cheeks, and let 
not your member quit her vagina. Push for the mouth 
of her womb. This will crown your labour. 

"If, by God's favour, you have found it, take good 
care not to withdraw your member, but let it remain 
there, and imbibe an endless pleasure! Listen to the 
sighs and heavy breathing of the woman. They witness 
the violence of the bliss you have given her. 

"And after the enjoyment is over, and your amorous 
struggle has come to an end, be careful not to get up at 
once, but withdraw your member cautiously. Remain 
close to the woman, and lie down on the right side of the 
bed that witnessed your enjoyment. You will find this 
pleasant, and you will not be like a fellow who mounts 
the woman after the fashion of a mule, without any re 
gard to refinement, and who, after the emission, hastens 
to get his member out, and to rise. Avoid such man- 
ners, for they rob the woman of all her pleasure." 

In short, the true lover of coition will not fail to 
observe all what I have recommended; for, from the 
observance of my recommendations will result the pleas' 
ure of the woman, and these rules comprise everything 
essentàl m that respect. 

God has made everything for the best! 



Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), if you would 
have a pleasant coition, which ought to give an equal 
share of happiness to the two combatants and be satis' 
factory to both, you must first of all toy with the wo' 
man, excite her with kisses, by nibbling and sucking her 
lips, by caressing her neck and cheeks. Turn her over 
in bed, now on her back, now on her stomach, till you 
see by her eyes that the time for pleasure is near, as I 
have mentioned in the preceding chapter, and certainly 
I have not been sparing with my observations thereupon. 

Then when you observe the lips of a woman to trem^ 
ble and get red, and her eyes to become languishing, and 
her sighs to become quicker, know that she is hot for 
coition, then get between her thighs, so that your mem' 
ber can enter into her vagina. If you have followed my 
advice, you will have both a pleasant coition, which will 
give you the greatest satisfaction, and leave to you a 
delicious remembrance. 

Someone has said: 

"If you desire the coition, place the woman on the 
ground, cling closely to her bosom, with her lips close 
to yours; then clasp her to you, such her breath, bite 
her; kiss her breasts, her stomach, her flanks, press her 
close in your arms, so as to make her faint with pleasure; 
iwhen you sec her so far gone, then push your member 
into her. If you have done as I said, the enjoyment will 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 67 

come to both of you simultaneously. This it is which 
makes the pleasure of the woman so sweet. But if you 
neglect my advice the woman will not be satisfied and 
you will not have procured her any pleasure." 

The coition being finished, do not get up at once, but 
come down softly on her right side, and if she has con- 
ceived, she will bear a male child, if it please God on 

Sages and Savants (may God grant to all his forgive- 
ness!) have said: 

"If anyone placing his hand upon the vulva of a wo- 
mon that is with child pronounces the following words. 
'In the name of God! may he grant salutation and mercy 
to his Prophet (salutation and mercy be with him). Oh! 
my God! I pray thee in the name of the Prophet to let 
a boy issue from this conception,' it will come to pass by 
the will of God, and in consideration for our lord Mo' 
hammed (the salutation and grace of God be with him) , 
the woman will be delivered of a boy." 

Do not drink rain-water directly after copulation, be- 
cause this beverage weakens the kidneys. 

If you want to repeat the coition, perfume yourself 
with sweet scents, then close with the woman, and you 
will arrive at a happy result. 

Do not let the woman perform the act of coition 
mounted upon you, for fear that in that position some 
drops of her seminal fluid might enter the canal of your 
verge and cause a sharp uretritis.^ 

Do not work hard directly after coition; this might 
affect your health badly, but go to rest for some time. 

^ Although the dictionary gives no clue with respect to this 
illness, I thought it well, in conformity with the information I 
took, to call it sharp urctritis, a disease which is vulgarly called 
gonorrhoea with stricture. 

68 The Perfumed Garden 

Do not wash your verge directly after having with- 
drawn it from the vagina of the woman; until the irritât- 
tion has gone down somewhat; then wash it and its 
opening carefully. Otherwise, do not wash your mem- 
ber frequently. Do not leave the vulva directly after 
the emission, as this may cause canker.^ 


The ways of doing it to women are numerous and 
variable. And now is the time to make known to you 
the different positions which are usual. 

God, the magnificent, has said: 

"The women are your field. Go upon your field as 
you like." ^ According to your wish you can choose the 
position you like best, of course provided that the coition 
takes place in the spot destined for it, that is, in the 

Manner the first. — Make the woman lie upon her 
back, with her thighs raised, then getting between her 
legs, introduce your member into her. Then pressing 
your toes to the ground, you can rummage her in a con- 
venient, measured way.^ This is a good position for a 
man with a long verge. 

1 Although I have translated the word with canker it may, 
according to the dictum of some practitioners, signify also an 
affection that is known under the names of scSa, otherwise 

putrefaction, which is simply gonorrhea. 

2 This passage is an extract from the 223rd verse, chap. ii. 
of the Koran. The same runs: "The women arc your field. 
Go out upon your field as you list, but do previously some deed 
for your soul's sake. Fear God and be mindful of the day 
when you shall be in his presence." 

3 This position for the coition, which may be called the nat- 
ural one, is called by the Arabs hannechi, which means "the 
manner of serpents." 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 69 

Manner the second. — If your member is a short one, 
let the woman He on her back, Hft her legs into the air, 
so that her right leg be near her right ear, and the left 
one near her left ear, and in this posture, with her but- 
tock lifted up, her vulva will project forward. Then 
put in your member. 

Manner the third. — Let the woman stretch herself 
upon the ground, and place yourself between her thighs; 
then putting one of her legs upon your shoulder, and the 
other under your arm, near the armpit, get into her. 

Manner the fourth. — Let her lie down, and put her 
legs on your shoulders; in this position your member 
will just face her vulva, which must not touch the 
ground. And then introduce your member. 

Manner the fifth. — Let her lie dov/n on her side, then 
lie yourself down by her on the side, and getting be- 
tween her thighs, put your member into her vagina. 
But the sidelong coition predisposes for rheumatic pains 
and sciatica.^ 

Manner the sixth. — ^Make her get down on her knees 
and elbows, as if kneeling in prayer. In this position 
the vulva is projected backwards; you then attack her 
from that side, and put your member into her.- 

Manner the seventh. — Place the woman on her side, 
and squat between her thighs, with one of her legs on 
your shoulder and the other between your thighs, while 
she remains lying on her side. Then you enter her va- 
gina, and make her move by drawing her towards your 
chest by means of your hands, with which you hold her 

^ The name of the side-coition is in Arabic djenabi, from 
djencb, which means "side, sidewards." 

• In vulgar Arabic, this manner of enjoying woman is called 
begouri, that is to say, after the fashion of a bull. 

70 The Perfumed Garden 

Manner the eighth. — Let her stretch herself upon the 
ground, on her back, with her legs crossed; then mount 
her hke a cavaHer on horseback, being on your knees, 
while her legs are placed under her thighs, and put your 
member into her vagina. 

Manner the ninth. — Place the woman so that she leans 
with her front, or, if you prefer it, her back upon a mod- 
erate elevation, with her feet set upon the ground. She 
thus offers her vulva to the introduction of your mem- 

Manner the tenth. — Place the woman near to a low 
divan, the back of which she can take hold of with her 
hands; then, getting under her, lift her legs to the height 
of your navel, and let her clasp you with her legs on 
each side of your body; in this position plant your verge 
into her, sei2;ing with your hands the back of the divan. 
When you begin the action your movements must re- 
spond to those of the woman. 

Manner the eleventh. — Let her lie upon her back on 
the ground with a cushion under her posterior; then get- 
ting between her legs, and letting her place the sole of 
her right foot against the sole of her left, introduce your 

There are other positions besides the above named in 
use among the peoples of India. It is well for you to 
know that the inhabitants of those parts have multiplied 
the different ways to enjoy women, and they have ad- 
vanced further than we in knowledge and investigation 
of the coitus. 

^ Note in the autographic edition: It is necessary to observe 
that in all these descriptions the couch where the encounter 
takes place is only an Arabian bed, generally formed by sev- 
eral carpets laid one over the other, or covering a mattress, 
which lies upon the ground. Such a bed is very low, for which 
reason the author suggests an elevation (platform), when the 
tryste requires a support of the height of our beds. 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 71 

Amongst those manners are the following, called: 

1. El asemeud, the stopperage. 

2. El modefeda, frog-fashion. 

3. El mokefa, with the toes cramped. 

4. El mokeurmeutt, with the legs in the air. 

5. Es setouri, he-goat'fashion. 

6. El loulabi, the screw of Archimedes. 

7. E2; zedjadja, piercing with the lance. 

8. El hedouh, hanging. 

9. El kelouci, the somerset. 

10. Hachou en nekanok, the tail of the ostrich. 

11. Lebeuss el djoureb, in head over heel. 

12. Kechef el astine, reciprocal sight of the posteriors. 

13. Neza el kouss, the bent of the rainbow. 

14. Nesedj el kheu^z;, alternative boring. 

15. Dok el arz, pounding on the spot. 

16. Nik el kohoul, the coition at the back. 

17. El keurchi, belly to belly. 

18. El kepachi, ram -fashion. 

19. El kouri, the camePs hump. 

20. Dok el outed, driving the peg home. 

21. Sebek el heub, love's fusion. 

22. El morteseb, rape. 

23. Tred ech chate, sheep-fashion. 

24. Kaleb el miche, interchange in coition. 

25. Rekeud el air, the tilting of the member. 

26. El modakheli, the fitter in. 

27. El khouariki, the one who stops in the house. 

28. Nik el haddadi, the smith's coition. 

29. El moheundi, the seducer. 

72 The Perfumed Garden 

The first manner. — ^^El asemeud (the stopperage). 
Place the woman on her back with a cushion under her 
buttocks, then get between her legs, resting the points 
of your feet against the ground; bend her thighs against 
her chest as far as you can; place your hands under her 
arms so as to enfold her or cramp her shoulders. Then 
introduce your member, and at the moment of ejacula' 
tion draw her towards you. This position is painful for 
woman, for her thighs being bent upwards and her but' 
tocks raised by the cushion, the walls of her vagina 
tighten, and the uterus tending forward there is no much 
room for movement, and scarcely space enough for the 
intruder; consequently the latter enters with difficulty 
and strikes against the uterus. This position should 
therefore not be adopted, unless the man's member is 
sliort or soft. 

Second manner. — El modefeda (frog fashion). Place 
the woman on her back, and arrange her thighs so that 
they touch the heels, which latter are thus coming close 
to the buttocks; then you sit dov/n in this kind of merry 
thought,^ facing the vulva, in which you insert your 
member; you then place her knees under your arm-pits; 
and taking firm hold of the upper part of her arms, you 
draw her towards you at the crisis. 

Third manner. — El mokefa (with the toes cramped). 
Place the woman on her back, and squat on your knees, 
between her thighs, gripping the ground with the toes; 
raise her knees as high as your sides, in order that she 
may cross her legs over your back, and then pass her 
arms round your neck. 

1 The Arab text says mokorfeuss, which signifies the manner 
to squat on the ground with the arms slung round the legs. 
The root is a word of four letters, signifying: to tie somebody 
up by fastening his hands under his feet. 

Conce}"ning everything favourable to Coition 73 

Fourth manner. — El mokeurmeutt (the legs in the 
air). The woman lying on her back, you put her thighs 
together and raise her legs up until the soles of her feet 
look at the ceiling; then enfolding her within your thighs 
you insert your member, holding her legs up with your 

Fifth manner. — Es setouri (he-goat fashion^). The 
woman being crouched on her side, you let her stretch 
out the leg on which she is resting, and squat down be- 
tween her thighs with your calves bent under you; '^ 
then you lift her uppermost leg so that it rests on your 
back, and introduce your member. During the action 
you take hold of her shoulders, or, if you prefer it, by 
the arms. 

Sixth manner. — El loulabi (the screw of Archimedes"). 
The man being stretched on his back the woman sits on 
his member, facing him; she then places her hands upon 
the bed so that she can keep her stomach from touching 
the man's, she then moves up and downwards, and if 
the man is supple he assists her from below. If in this 
position she wants to kiss him, she need only stretch her 
arms along the bed. 

Seventh manner. — Er ^edjadja (piercing with the 
lance).'* You suspend the woman from the ceiling by 

^ The root of the word setouri is seteur, v;hich means a 

2 Note of the autograph edition. Here occurs the word 
mokorfeuss, mentioned in note 1, p. 72, and which has been 
translated with "bending the calves." This expression recurs 
frequently, preceded generally by the word djeleuss, "to sit 

3 The root of el loulabi is louleb, which means the pipe of a 
fountain, through which the water is forced, issuing out of a 
narrow opening, after a system which, like the screw of Archi' 
medes, serves to raise water. 

* The word ezzedjadja is derived from zedj, to beat, pierce 
with the zoudj, that is, with the point of the lance. 

74 The Perfumed Garden 

means of four cords attached to her hands and feet; the 
middle of her body is supported by a fifth cord, arranged 
so as not to hurt her back. Her position should be so 
that if you stand upright before her, her vagina should 
just face your member, which you introduce into her. 
You then communicate to the apparatus a swinging mo' 
tion, first pushing it slightly from you and then drawing 
it towards you again; in this way your weapon will alter- 
nately enter and retire from its sheath, you taking care 
to hit the entrance on her approach. This action you 
continue till the ejaculation arrives. 

Eighth manner. — El hedouli (suspension). The man 
brings the woman's hands and feet together in the direc- 
tion of her neck, so that her vulva is standing out like a 
dome, and then raises her up by means of a pulley which 
is fixed in the ceiling. Then he stretches himself out 
below her, holding in his hand the other end of the 
cord, by means of which he can lower her down upon 
himself, and so is able to penetrate into her. He thus 
causes her alternately to rise and descend upon his tool 
until the ejaculation takes place. 

Ninth Manner.— El kelouci (the summerset). The 
woman must have a pair of pantaloons on, which she 
lets drop down upon her heels; she then stoops down, 
placing her head between her feet, so that her neck is in 
the pantaloons. At that moment the man, seizing her 
legs, turns her upon her back, making her perform a 
summerset; then he brings his member right against her 
vulva, and, slipping it between her legs, inserts it. 

It is alleged that there are women who, lying on their 
back, can place their feet under the head without the 
help of pantaloons or of their hands. 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 75 

Tenth manner. — Hacou en nekanok (the tail of the 
ostrich). The woman lying on her back along the bed, 
the man kneels in front of her, and lifts up her legs until 
her head and shoulders only are resting on the bed; his 
member sets into motion the buttocks of the woman 
who, on her part, twines her legs round his neck.'^ 

Eleventh manner. — Lebeuss el djoureb (fitting on of 
the sock) .^ The woman lies on her back, you sit down 
between her legs and place your member between the 
lips of her vulva, which you fit over it with your thumb 
and first finger; then you move so as to procure for your 
member as far as it is in contact with the woman a lively 
rubbing, which action you continue until her vulva gets 
moistened with the liquid emitted from your verge. 
When she is thus amply prepared for the enjoyment by 
the alternate coming and going of your weapon in her 
scabbard, put it into her full length. 

Twelfth manner. — Kechef el astine (reciprocal sight 
of the posteriors) .^ The man lying stretched out on his 
back, the woman sits down upon his member with her 
back to the man's face, who presses her sides between his 

1 In taking notice of the position, it is easy to understand 
that the two legs of the woman raised up with the man's head 
between them may, to a certain extent, appear somewhat Hke 
an Ostrich's tail. 

- The author compares the virile member, which the man 
with the help of his hand envelopes, so to say, with the lips 
of the vulva before pushing in, to the foot round which the 
Arab winds a piece of linen, called djoureb, previous to putting 
on his shoe. 

3 This posture has received the above name, because during 
the action each party can see the other's posterior. The name 
usually employed, has ou kaa, literally signifying head and bot- 
tom, can be rendered in French "tete-beche," 

76 The Perfumed Garden 

thighs and legs, whilst she places her hands upon the bed 
as a support for her movements, and stooping her head, 
her eyes are turned towards the buttocks of the man.^ 

Thirteenth manner. — Neza el kouss (the bend of the 
arch). The woman is lying on her side; the man also on 
his side, with his face towards her back, pushes in be- 
tween her legs and introduces his member, with his 
hands lying on the upper part of her back. As to the 
woman, she then gets hold of the man's feet, which she 
lifts up as far as she can, drawing him close to her; thus 
she forms with the body of the man an arch, of which 
she is the rise. 

Fourteenth manner. — Nesedj el kheuzz (the alternate 
movement of piercing).^ The man in sitting attitude 
places the soles of his feet together, and lowering his 
thighs, draws his feet nearer to his member; the woman 
sits down upon his feet, which he takes care to keep 
firm together. In this position the two thighs of the 
woman are pressed against the man's flanks, and she puts 
her arms round his neck. Then the man clasps the 
woman's ankles, and drawing his feet nearer to his body, 
brings also the woman sitting on them, within range of 
his member, which then enters her vagina. By moving 
his feet he sends her back and brings her forward again, 
without ever withdrawing his member entirely. 

The woman makes herself as light as possible, and as- 
sists as well as she can in this come-and'go exercise; her 

1 Ast, translated with foundation, means the posterior; hence 
the word setani, meaning paederast. 

2 The word nesedj expresses the coming and going movement 
of the shuttle in weaving, the same being sent to and fro from 
one side to the other. The word Khcuzz means to perforate, to 
pierce through and through. 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 77 

cooperation is indispensable for it. If the man apprc 
hends that his member may come out entirely, he takes 
her round the waist, and she receives otherwise no other 
impulse than that which is imparted to her by the feet 
of the man upon which she is sitting. 

Fifteenth manner. — Dok el arz; (the pounding on the 
spot).^ The man sits down with his legs stretched out; 
the woman then places herself astride on his thighs, 
crossing her legs behind the back of the man, and places 
her vulva opposite his member, which latter she guides 
into her vagina; she then places her arms round his neck, 
and he embraces her sides and waist, and helps her to 
rise and descend upon his verge. She must assist in his 

Sixteenth manner. — Nik el kohoul (coitus from the 
back) . The woman lies down on her stomach and raises 
her buttocks by help of a cushion; the man approaches 
from behind, stretches himself on her back and inserts 
his tool, while the woman twines her arms round the 
man's elbows. This is the easiest of all methods. 

Seventeenth manner. — El keurchi (belly to belly) . 
The man and the woman are standing upright, face to 
face; she opens her thighs; the man then brings his feet 
forward between those of the woman, Vv^ho also advances 
hers a little. In this position the man must have one of 
his feet somewhat in advance of the other. Each of the 
two has the arms round the other's hips, the man intro- 
duces his verge, and the two move thus intertwined 
after a manner called neza' el delà, which I shall explain 
later on, please God the Almighty. (See first manner.) 

1 The vulgar expression of this position is nekahet el gàda, 
signifying the coitus whilst sitting. 

78 The Perfumed Garden 

Eighteenth manner. — El kebachi (after the fashion of 
the ram). The woman is on her knees, with her fore- 
arms on the ground; the man approaches from behind, 
kneels down, and lets his member penetrate into her 
vagina, which she presses out as much as possible; he 
will do well in placing his hands on the woman's shoul' 

Nineteenth manner. — El houri (the hump of the 
camel). The woman, standing on her feet, places her 
hands on the ground, and elevates her hinder parts; the 
man, standing behind her, explores her, taking hold of 
her thighs in front of her buttocks. 

If in this position the man, after having introduced 
his member, withdraws it, and the woman remains steady 
in her attitude, there will escape from her vagina a sound 
resembling the lowing of a calf. But this kind of coitus 
is not easy to obtain, as women who know that circum- 
stance refuse to lend themselves for it. 

Twentieth manner. — Dok el (driving the pin in) . The 
woman enlaces with her legs the waist of the man, stead- 
ying herself by leaning against the wall. Whilst she who 
is standing, with her arms passed round his neck, and is 
thus suspended the man inserts his pin into her vulva. 

Twenty-first manner. — Sebek el heub (love's fusion). 
While the woman is lying on her right side you extend 
yourself on your left side; your left leg remains extended, 
and you raise your right one till it is up to her flank, 
when you lay her upper leg upon your side. Thus her 
uppermost leg serves the woman as a support for her 
back. After having introduced your member you move 
as you please, and she responds to your action as she 

Twenty-second manner. — El morteseb (the coition by 

Concerning everything favou7-able to Coition 79 

violence) . The man approaches the woman from behind, 
so as to take her unawares; he passes his hands under 
her armpits; and seizing hers, draws them up towards 
her throat, so as to paralyze all resistance on her part. 
He can intertwine his fingers with hers, and thus bring 
her hands behind her neck by making her bend her 
head down. 

If she has no drawers on, he tries to raise her robe 
with his knees towards the middle of the body, fixing 
one of her legs with his, so that she cannot turn away 
her receptacle from his weapon, nor make any resistance 
to its introduction. If she has drawers on and is strong, 
the man will be obliged to hold her two hands with one 
of his while he undoes her drawers with the other. 

This manner will prove convenient for a man who 
wants to enjoy a woman, and can only get her by force 
and against her will. 

Twenty'third manner. — Tred ech chate (coitus of the 
sheep) .^ The woman is on her hands and knees; the 
man behind her lifts her thighs till her vulva is on a level 
with his member, which he then inserts. In this position 
she ought to place her head between her arms. 

Twentyfourth manner. — Kaleb el miche (the inver' 
sion in coition). The man is lying on his back, and the 
woman gliding in between his legs, places herself upon 
him with her toc'uails against the ground; she lifts up 
the man's thighs, turning them against his own body, so 
that his virile member faces her vulva, into which she 
glides it; she then places her hands upon the bed by the 
sides of the man. It is, however, indispensable that the 

1 The name tred ech chate — sheep's courtship — has received 
this name, because the sheep in receiving the caresses of the 
ram puts its head between its legs, as is done by the woman in 
the position as described. 

80 - The Perfumed Garden 

woman's feet rest upon a cushion to enable her to keep 
her vulva in accordance with his member. 

In this position the parts are exchanged, the woman 
fulfilling that of the man, and vice versa. 

There is a variation to this manner. The man stretches 
himself out upon his back, while the woman kneels with 
her legs under her between his legs. The remainder 
conforms exactly to what has been said above. 

Twentyfifth manner. — Rekeud el air (the race of the 
member) . The man on his back supports himself with a 
cushion under his shoulders, but his posterior must keep 
touch of the bed. Thus placed, he draws up his thighs 
until his knees are on a level with his face; then the 
v/oman sits down, impaling herself on his member; she 
must not lie down, but keep seated as if on horseback, 
the saddle being represented by the knees and the stom' 
ach of the man. In that position she can by the play of 
her knees work up and dovv^n and down and up. She 
can beside place her knees on the bed, in xvhich case the 
man accentuates the movement by plying his thighs, 
whilst she holds with her left hand on to his right 

Twenty-sixth manner. — El modakheli (the fitter-in). 
The woman is seated on her coccyx, with only the points 
of her buttocks touching the ground; the man takes the 
same position, her vulva facing his member, then the 
woman puts her right thigh over the left thigh of the 
man, whilst he on his part puts his right thigh over her 
left one. 

The woman, seizing with her hands the man's arms, 
gets his member into her vulva; and each of them lean- 
ing alternately a little back, and holding each other by 
the upper part of the arms, they get into a swaying 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 81 

movement, acting by way of little concussions,^ and 
keeping their movements in exact rhythm by the assist' 
ance of their heels, which are resting on the ground. 

Twenty'seventh manner. — EI khouariki (the one that 
stops at home). The woman being couched on her 
back, the man lies down on her, with cushions held in 
his hands. 

After the member has got in, the woman raises her 
buttocks as high as she can off the bed, the man follow 
ing her up with his member well inside; then the woman 
-lowers herself again upon the bed, giving some short 
shocks, and although they do not embrace, the man must 
stick like glue to her. This movement they continue, but 
the man must make himself light and must not be pon' 
derous, and the bed must be soft; in default of which 
the exercise cannot be kept up without break. 

Twentyeighth manner. — Nik el haddadi (the coition 
of the blacksmith). The woman lies on her back with a 
cushion under her buttocks, with her knees raised as far 
as possible towards her chest, so that her vulva stands 
out as a target; she then guides his member in. 

The man then executes for some time the usual action 
of the coition, then draws his tool out of the vulva, and 
glides it for a moment between the thighs of the woman, 
as the smith withdraws the glowing iron from the fur- 
nace in order to plunge it into cold water. This man- 
ner is called sferdgeli, position of the quince. 

Twenty-ninth manner. — El moheundi (the seductive). 
The woman lying on her back, the man sits between her 
legs, with his croupe on his feet; then he raises and sepa- 
rates the woman's thighs, placing her legs under his 

^ The author makes use of the word nitha, derived from 
netah, and which is spoken of in note 1, p. 1. 

82 The Perfumed Garden 

arms or over his shoulders; he then takes her round the 
waist, or seizes her shoulders. 

The preceding descriptions furnish a large number of 
procedures that cannot well be all put to the proof; but 
with such a variety to choose from, the man who finds 
one of them difficult to practise can easily find plenty of 
others more to his convenience. 

I have not made mention of positions which appeared 
to me to be impossible to realize, and if there be any 
body who thinks that those which I have described are 
not exhaustive he has only to look for new ones. 

It cannot be gainsaid that the Indians have surmount' 
ed the greatest difficulties in respect to coition. As a 
grand exploit, originating with them, the following may 
be cited: 

''The woman being stretched out on her back, the man 
sits down on her chest with his back turned to her face, 
his knees turned forward and his nails gripping the 
ground; he then raises her hips, arching her back until 
he has brought her vulva to face with his membef, 
which he then inserts, and thus gains his purpose." 

This position, as you perceive, is very fatiguing and 
very difficult to attain. I even believe that the only rC' 
alization of it consists in words and designs. With regard 
to the other methods, as described above, they can only 
be practised if both man and woman are free from phys- 
ical defects, and of analogous construction; for instance, 
one or the other of them must not be humpbacked or 
very little, or very tall, or too fat. And I repeat, that 
both must be in perfect health. 

I shall now treat of the coition between two persons 
of difi^erent conformation. I shall particularize the posi' 
tions that will suit them in treating each of them sev 

Concet'ning everything favourable to Coition 88 

I shall first discourse of the coition of a lean man and 
a corpulent woman, and the different postures they can 
take for the operation, assuming the woman to be lying 
down, and being turned successively over on her four 

If the man wants to work her sideways he takes the 
thigh of the woman which is uppermost, and raises it as 
high as possible on his flank, so that it rests over his 
waist; he employs her undermost arm as a pillow for the 
support of his head, and he takes care to place a stout 
cushion under his undermost hip, so as to elevate his 
member to the necessary height, which is indispensable 
on account of the thickness of the woman's thighs. 

But if the man has an enormous stomach, projecting 
by reason of its obesity, over her thighs and flanks it 
will be best to lay her on her back, and to lift up her 
thighs toward her belly; the man kneels between them, 
with his hands having hold of her waist, and drawing 
her towards him, and if he cannot manage her in conse- 
quence of the obesity of her belly and thighs, he must 
with his two arms encircle her buttocks. But it is impos- 
sible for him to work her conveniently, owing to the 
want of mobility as to her thighs, which are impeded b> 
her belly. He may, however, support them with his 
hands, but let him take care not to place them over his 
own thighs, as, owing to their weight, he would not 
have the power nor the facility to move. As the poet 
has said: 
"If you have to explore her, lift up her buttocks, 

In order to work like the rope thrown to a drowning man. 

You will then seem between her thighs 

Like a rower seated at the end of the boat." 

The man can likewise couch the woman on her side, 
with the undermost leg in front; then he sits down on 

84 The Perfumed Garden 

the thigh of that leg, his member being opposite her 
vulva, and lets her raise the upper leg, which she must 
bend at the knee. Then, with his hands sei2,ing her legs 
and thighs, he introduces his member, with his body ly 
ing between her legs, his knees bent, and the points of 
his feet between the ground, so that he can elevate his 
posterior, and prevent her thighs from impeding the en- 
trance. In this attitude they can enter into action. 

If the woman's belly is enlarged by reason of her be- 
ing with child, the man lets her lie down on one of her 
sides; then placing one of her thighs over the other, he 
raises them both towards the stomach, without their 
touching the latter; he then lies down behind her on the 
same side, and thus can fit his member in. He can in 
this way get his tool in entirely, particularly by raising 
his foot, which is under the woman's leg, to the height 
of her thigh. The same may be done with a barren 
woman; but it is particularly to be recommended for the 
woman who is enceinte, as the above position offers the 
advantage of procuring her the pleasure she wants with- 
out exposing her to danger. 

In case of the man being obese, with a very pro- 
nounced rotundity of stomach, and the woman being 
thin, the best course to take is to let the woman take the 
active part. To this end, the man lies down on his back 
with his thighs close together, and the woman lets her- 
self down upon his member, astride of him; she rests 
her hands upon the bed, and he seizes her arms with 
his hands. If she knows how to move, she can thus, 
in turn, rise and sink upon his member; if she is not 
adroit enough for that movement, the man imparts a 
movement to her buttocks by the play of one of his 
thighs behind them. Only, if the man takes that posi- 
tion it lïiay become sometimes prejudicial to him, inas- 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 85 

much, as some of the femak sperm may penetrate into 
his urethra, and grave malady may ensue that the man's 
sperm cannot pass out, and returns into therefrom. It 
may also happen that the man's sperm cannot pass out, 
and returns into the urethra. 

If the man prefers that the woman should lie on her 
back, he places himself, with his legs folded under him, 
between her legs, which she parts only moderately. 
Thus, his buttocks are between the women's legs, with 
his heels touching them. In doing that way he will, 
however, feel fatigue, owing to the position of his stom- 
ach resting upon the woman's and the inconvenience 
resulting therefrom; and, besides, he will not be able to 
get his whole member in the vulva. 

It will be about the same when both lie on their sides 
as mentioned above in the case of pregnant women, 
where the manner is described. 

When both man and woman are fat, and are wanting 
to unite themselves in coition, they cannot contrive to 
do it without trouble, particularly when both have prom- 
inent stomachs. In these circumstances the best way to 
go about it is for the woman to be on her knees with 
her hands on the ground, so that her posterior is ele- 
vated; then the man separates her legs, leaving the points 
of the feet close together and the heels parted asunder; 
he then attacks her from behind, kneeling and holding 
up his stomach with his hand, and so introduces his 
member. Resting his stomach upon her buttocks he 
holds during the act the thighs or the waist of the wo- 
man with his, hands. If the posterior of the woman is 
too low for his stomach to rest upon, he must place â 
cushion under her knees, to remedy this. 

86 The Perfumed Garden 

I know of no other position so favourable as this for 
coition of a fat man and a fat woman. 

In fact, if the man gets between the legs of the wc 
man on her back under the above named circumstances, 
his stomach, encountering the woman's thighs, will not 
allow him to make free use of his tool. He cannot even 
see her vulva, or only in part; it may be almost said that 
it will be impossible for him to accomplish the act. 

On the other hand, if the man makes the woman lie 
upon her side and he places himself, with his legs bent 
behind her, pressing his stomach upon the upper part of 
her posterior, she must draw her legs and thighs up to 
her stomach, in order to lay bare her vagina and allow 
the introduction of his member; but if she cannot suffi' 
ciently bend her knees, the man can neither see her 
vulva, nor explore it. 

If, however, the stomach of each person is not ex' 
tremely large, they can manage very well all positions. 
Only they must not be too long in coming to the crisis, 
as they will soon feel fatigue and lose their breath. 

In the case of a very big man and a very little woman, 
the difficulty to be solved is how to contrive that their 
organs of generation and their mouths can meet at the 
same time. To gain this end the woman had best lie on 
her back; the man places himself on his side near her, 
passes one of his hands under her neck, and with the 
other raises her thighs till he can put his member against 
her vulva from behind, the woman remaining still on 
her back. In this position he holds her up with his 
hands by the neck and the thighs. He can then enter 
her body, while the woman on her part puts her arms 
round his neck, and approaches her lips to his. 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 87 

.If the man wishes the woman to He on her side he 
gets between her legs, and placing her thighs so that 
they are in contact with his sides, one above and one 
under, he glides in between them till his member is fac' 
ing her vulva from behind; he then presses his thighs 
against her buttocks, which he sei2;es with one hand in 
order to import movement to them; the other hand he 
has round her neck. If the man then likes, he can get 
his thighs over those of the woman, and press her tp' 
wards him; this will make it easier for him to move. 

As regards the copulation of a very small man and a 
tall woman, the two actors cannot kiss each other while 
in action unless they take one of the three following 
positions, and even then they will get fatigued. 

First position. — The woman lies on her back, with a 
thick cushion under her buttocks, and a similar one 
under her head; she then draws up her thighs as far as 
possible towards her chest. The man lies down upon 
her, introduces his member, and takes hold of her shoul' 
ders, drawing himself up towards them. The woman 
winds her arms and legs round over his back, whilst he 
holds on to her shoulders, or, if he can, to her neck. 

Second position. — Man and woman both lie on their 
sides, face to face; the woman slips her undermost thigh 
under the man's flank, drawing it at the same time high' 
er up; she does the like with her other thigh over his; 
then she arches her stomach out, while his member is 
penetrating into her. Both should have hold of the 
other's neck, and the woman, crossing her legs over his 
back, should draw the man towards her. 

Third position. — The man lies on his back, with his 
legs stretched out; the woman sits on his member, and. 

gig The Perfumed Garden ■ ' 

stretching herself down over him, draws up her knees 
to the height of her stomach; then, laying her hands 
over his shoulders, she draws herself up, and presses her 
lips to his. 

All these postures are more or less fatiguing for both; 
they can, however, choose any other position they hke, 
only they must be able to kiss each other during the act. 

I will now speak to you of people who are little, in 
consequence of being humpbacked. Oi these there are 
several kinds. 

First, there is the man who is crookbacked, but whose 
spine and neck are straight. For him it is most conveni' 
ent to unite himself with a little woman, but not other- 
wise than from behind. Placing himself behind her pos- 
terior, he thus introduces his member into her vulva. 
But if the woman is in a stooping attitude, on her hands 
and feet, he will do still better. If the woman be afflic 
ted with a hump and the man is straight, the same posi- 
tion is right. 

If both of them are crookbacked they can take what 
position they like for the coition. They cannot, how- 
ever, embrace; and if they lie on their side, face to face, 
there will be left an empty space between them. And if 
one or the other lies down on the back, a cushion must 
be placed under the head and the shoulder, to hold them 
up, and fill the place which is left vacant. 

In the case of a man whose malformation is only af- 
fecting his neck, so as to press the chin towards his 
chest, but who is otherv^'ise straight, he can take any 
position he likes for doing the business, and give himself 
up to any embraces and caresses, always excepting the 
kisses on the mouth. If the woman is lying on her back, 
he will appear in the action as if he was butting at her 

Concerning everything favourabh to Coition SO 

like a ram. It the woman has her neck deformed in sim- 
ilar manner, their coition will resemble the mutual attack 
of two horned beasts with their heads. The most con- 
venient position for them will be that the woman should 
stoop down, and he attack her from behind. The man 
whose hump appears on his back in the shape of only 
the half of a jar is not so much disfigured as the one of 
whom the poet has said — 

"Lying on his back he is a dish; 
Turn him over, and you have a dish-cover." 

In his case the coition can take place as with any other 
man who is small in stature and straight; he can, how- 
ever, not well lie on his back. 

If a little woman is lying on her back, with such a 
humpbacked man upon her belly, he will look like the 
cover over a vase. If, on the contrary, the woman is 
large-sized, he will have the appearance of a carpenter's 
plane in action. I have made the following verses on 
this subject: 

"The humpback is vaulted like an arch; 
In seeing him you cry, 'Glory be to God!' 
You ask him how he manages the coitus? 
'It is the retribution for my sins,' he says, 
The woman under him is Hke a board of deal; 
The humpback, who explores her, does the planing." 

I have also said in verse: — 

**The humpback's dorsal cord is tied in knots, 
The angels tire with writing all his sins:^ 
In trying for a wife of proper shape; 
And for her favours, she repulses him. 
And says, 'Who bears the wrongs we shall commit?' 
And he, 'I bear them well upon my hump!' 
And then she mocks him saying, 'Oh, you plane! 
Destined for making shavings, take a deal board;' " 

^ Note in the autograph edition. The angels, according to 
the creed of the Mussi-ilmans, are incessantly busy in writing 
down, whilst standing behind or before a man, his good and 
bad actions. (See the "Koran," chap, vi., verse 61, and chap, 
xiii., verse 12. 

90 The Perfumed Garden 

If the woman has a hump as well as the man, they 
may take any of the various positions for the coition, al- 
ways observing that if one of them lies on the back, the 
hump must be environed with cushion, as with a turban, 
thus having a nest to lie in, which guards its top, which 
is very tender. In this way they can embrace closely. 

If the man is humped both on back and chest he must 
renounce the embrace and clinging, and can otherwise 
take any position he likes for coition. But, generally 
speaking, the action must always be troublesome for him- 
self and the woman. I have written on this subject: 

"The humpback engaged in the act of coition 
Is hke a vase provided with two handles. 
If he is burning for a woman, she will tell him, 
'Your hump is in the way; you cannot do it; 
Your verge would find a place to rummage in. 
But on your chest the hump, where would it be?' " 

If both the woman and the man have double humps, 
the best position they can take for the coitus is the fol- 
lowing. ''Whilst the woman is lying on her side, the 
man introduces his member after the fashion described 
previously in respect to pregnant women. Thus the two 
humps do not encounter. Both are lying on their sides, 
and the man attacks from behind. Should the woman be 
on her back, her hump must be supported by a cushion, 
whilst the man kneels between her legs, she holding up 
her posterior. Thus placed, their two humps are not 
near each other, and all inconvenience is avoided. 

The same is the case if the woman stoops down with 
her head, with her croup in the air, after the manner of 
El kouri, which position will suit both of them, if they 
have the chest malformed, but not the back. One of 
them then performs the action of come-and-go. 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 91 

But the most curious and amusing description in this 
respect which I have ever met is contained in these 

"Their two extremities are close together. 
And nature made a laughing stock of them; 
Foreshortened he appears as if cut off; 
He looks like someone bending to escape a blow, 
Or like a man who has received a blow 
And shrivels down so as to miss a second." 

If a man's spine is curved about the hips and his back 
is straight, so that he looks as though he was in prayer, 
half prostrated, coition is for him very difficult; owing to 
the reciprocal positions of his thighs and his stomach, he 
cannot possibly insert his member entirely, as it lies so 
far back between his thighs. The best for him to do is 
to stand up. The woman stoops down before him with 
her hands to the ground, and her posterior in the air; he 
can thus introduce his member as a pivot for the woman 
to move upon, for, be it observed, he cannot well move 
himself. It is the manner El kouri, with the difference, 
that it is the woman who moves. 

A man may be attacked by the illness called ikaad, or 
Zamana (paralysis), which compels him to be constantly 
seated. If this malady only affects his knees and legs, 
his thighs and spinal column remaining sound, he can 
use all the sundry positions for coition, except those 
where he would have to stand up. In case his buttocks 
are affected, even if he is otherwise perfectly well, it is 
the woman who will have to make all the movements. 

Know, that the most enjoyable coitus does not always 
exist in the manners described here; I only gave them so 
as to render the work as complete as possible. Sometimes 

92 The Perfumed Garden 

.-most enjoyable coition takes place between lovers, who, 
•not quite perfect in their proportions, find their own 
means for their mutual gratification. 

It is said that there are women of great experience 
who, lying with a man, elevate one of their feet verti' 
cally in the air, and upon that foot a lamp is set full of 
oil, and with the wick burning. While the man is ram' 
ming them, they keep the lamp burning, and the oil is 
not spilled. 

Their coition is in no way impeded by this exhibition, 
but it must require great practice on the part of both. 

Assuredly the Indian writers have in their works de- 
scribed a great many ways of making love, but the major- 
ity of them do not yield enjoyment, and give more pain 
than pleasure. That which is to be looked for in coition, 
the crowning point of it, is the enjoyment, the embrace, 
the kisses. This is the distinction between the coitus of 
men and that of animals. No one is indifferent to the 
enjoyment which proceeds from the difference between 
the sexes, and man finds his highest felicity in it. 

If the desire of love in man is roused to its highest 
pitch, all the pleasures of coition become easy for him, 
and he satisfies his yearning in any way. 

It is well for the lover of coition to put all these man- 
ners to the proof, so as to ascertain which is the position 
that gives the greatest pleasure to both combatants. Then 
he will know which to choose for the tryst, and in satis- 
fying his desires retain the woman's affection. 

Many people have essayed all the positions I have 
described, but none has been as much approved of as 
the Dok el ars. 

A story is told on this subject of a man who had a 
mistress of incomparable beauty, graceful and accom- 

Conceniing everi/thing favourable to Coition 93 

::plished. He used to explore her in the ordinary man- 
ner, never having recourse to any other. The woman 
experienced none of the pleasure which ought to accom' 
pany the act, and was consequently generally very 
moody after the coition was over. 

The man complained about this to an old dame, who 
told him, ''Try different ways in uniting yourself to her, 
until you find the one which best satisfies her. Then 
work her in this fashion only, and her affection for you 
will know no limit." 

The man then tried upon his wife various manners of 
coition, and when he came to the one called Dok el arz 
he saw her in violent transports of love, and at the crisis 
of the pleasure he felt her womb grasp his verge ener' 
getically, and she said to him-, biting his lips, "This is 
the veritable manner of making love!" 

These demonstrations proved to the lover, in fact, that 
his mistress felt in that position the most lively pleasure 
and he always after worked with her in that way. Thus 
he attained his end, and made the woman love him to 

Therefore try different manners; for every woman 
likes one in preference to all others for her pleasure. 
The majorit}^ of them have, however, a predilection for 
the Dok el arz, as, in the application of the same, belly 
is pressed to belly, mouth glued to mouth, and the action 
of the womb is rarely absent. 

I have now only to mention the various movements 
practised for the coitus, and shall describe some of them. 

First movement, called Ne2;a el delà (the bucket in the 
well) . The man and woman join in close embrace after 
the introduction. Then he gives a push, and withduraws 

94 The Perfumed Garden 

a little; the woman then follows him with a push, and 
also retires. They continue their alternate movement., 
keeping proper time. Placing foot against foot, and 
hand against hand, they keep up the motion of a bucket 
in a well. 

Second movement. — En netahi (the mutual shock). 
After the introduction, they each draw back, but with' 
out dislodging the member completely. Then they both 
push tightly together, and thus go on keeping time. 

Third movement. — El motadani (the approach). The 
man moves as usual, and then stops. Then the woman, 
with the member in her receptacle, begins to move like 
the man, and then stops. And they continue this way 
until the ejaculation comes. 

Fourth movement. — Khiate el heub (Love's tailor). 
The man, with his member being only partially inserted 
in the vulva, keeps first up a sort of quick friction with 
the part that is in, and then suddenly plunges his whole 
member in up to its root. This is the movement of the 
needle in the hands of the tailor, of which the man and 
woman must take cognisance. 

This movement only suits such men and women who 
can at will retard the crisis. With those who are other' 
wise constituted it would act too quickly. 

Fifth movement. — Souak et feurdj (the toothpick in 
the vulva). The man introduces his member between 
the walls of the vulva, and then drives it up and down, 
and right and left. Only a man with a very vigorous 
member can execute this movement. 

Sixth movement. — ^Tachik el heub (the boxing up of 
love). The man introduces his member entirely into the 
vagina, so closely that his hairs are completely mixed up 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 95 

with the woman's. In that position he must now move 
forcibly, without withdrawing his tool in the least. 

This is the best of all the movements, and is particu' 
larly well adapted to the position Dok el arz. The wo' 
men prefer it to any other kind, as it procures them the 
extreme pleasure of seizing the member with their womb; 
and appeases their lust most completely. 

The woman called tribades always use this movement 
in their mutual caresses. And it provokes prompt ejacu' 
lation both with man and woman. 

Without kissing, no kind of position or movement 
procures the full pleasure; and the positions in which 
the kiss is not practicable are not entirely satisfactory, 
considering that the kiss is one of the most powerful 
stimulants to the work of love. 

I have said in verse: — 

"The languishing eye 
Puts in connection soul with soul, 
And the tender kiss 
Takes the message from member to vulva." 

The kiss is assumed to be an integral part of the coi' 
tion. The best kiss is the one impressed on humid lips 
combined with the suction of the lips and tongue, which 
latter particularly provokes the flow of sweet and fresh 
saliva. It is for the man to bring this about by slightly 
and softly nibbling her tongue, when her saliva will flow 
sweet and exquisite, more pleasant than refined honey, 
and which will not mix with the saliva of her mouth. 
This manouevre will give the man a trembling emotion, 
which will run all through his body, and is more intoxi' 
eating than wine drunk to excess. 

96- The Perfumed Garden 

A poet has said: — 

"In kissing her, I have drunk from my mouth 
Like a camel that drinks from the redir;'^ 
Her embrace and the freshness of her mouth 
Give me a languor that goes to my marrow." 

The kiss should be sonorous; it originates with the 
tongue touching the palate, lubricated by saliva. It is 
produced by the movement of the tongue in the mouth 
and by the displacement of the saliva, provoked by the 

The kiss given to the superficial outer part of the hps, 
and making a noise comparable to the one by which you 
call your cat, gives no pleasure. It is well enough thus 
applied to children and hands. 

The kiss I have described above is the one for the 
coitus and is full of voluptuousness. 

A vulgar proverb says: — 

"A humid kiss 
Is better than a hurried coitus." 

I have composed on this subject the following lines: 

"You kiss my hand — my mouth should be the place! 
O woman, thou who art my idol! 
It was a fond kiss you gave me, but it is lost, 
The hand cannot appreciate the nature of a kiss." 

The three words, Kobla, letsem, and bouss are used 
indifferently to indicate the kiss on the hand or mouth. 
The word ferame means specially the kiss on the mouth. 

An Arab poet has said: — 

"The heart of love can find no remedy 
In witching sorcery nor amulets. 
Nor in the fond embrace without a kiss, 
Nor in kiss without the coitus." 

* Note of the autograph edition. The redir is a natural 
reservoir in the hot plains, in which the rainwater collects. It 
is a precious hoard for nomadic populations. 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 97 

And the author of the work, ''The Jewels of the Bride 
and the Rejoicing of Souls," has added to the above as 
complement and commentary the two following verses: 

"Nor in converce, however unrestrained. 
But by the placing legs on legs (the coition)." 

Remember that all caresses and all sorts of kisses, as 
described, are of no account without the introduction of 
the member. Therefore abstain from them, if you do not 
want action; they only fan a fire at no purpose. The 
passion which is getting excited resembles in fact a fire 
which is being lighted; and just as water only can extin- 
guish the latter, so the emission of the sperm only can 
calm the lust and appease the heat. 

The woman is not more advantaged than the man by 
caresses without coition. 

It is said that Dahama bent Mesedjel appeared before 
the Governor of the province of Yamama, with her 
father and her husband, El Adjadje, alleging that the 
latter was impotent, and did not cohabit with her nor 
come near her. 

Her father, who assisted her in her case, was re- 
proached for mixing himself up with her plaint by the 
people of Yamama, who said to him, ''Are you not 
ashamed to help your daughter bring a claim for coi- 

To which he answered, "It is my wish that she should 
have children; if she loses them it will be by God's will; 
if she brings them up they will be useful to her." 

Dahama formulated her claim thus in coming before 
the Governor: "There stands my husband, and until now 
he has. never touched me." The Gi^vernor interposed, 
saying, "No doubt this will be because you have been 
unwiiHng?" "On the contrary," she replied, "it is for him 

98 The Perfumed Garden 

that I open my thighs and he down on my back." Then 
cried the husband, "O Emir, she tells untruth; in order 
to possess her I have to fight with her." The Emir pro- 
nounced the following judgment: "I give you, he said, a 
year's time to prove her allegation to be false." He de- 
cides thus out of regard for the man. El Adjadje then 
went away reciting these verses: 

"Dahama and her father Mesedjel thought, 
The Emir would decide upon my impotence. 
Is not the stalHon sometimes lazy-minded? 
And yet he is so large and vigorous." 

Returned to his house he began to kiss and caress his 
wife; but his efforts went no farther, he remained inca- 
pable of giving proofs of his virility. Dahama said to 
him, "Keep your caresses and embraces; they do not 
satisfy love. What I desire is a solid and stiff member, 
the sperm of which will flow into my matrix." And she 
recited to him the following verses: 

"Before God! it is in vain to try with kisses 
To entertain me, and with your embracings! 
To still my torments I must feel a member, 
Ejaculating sperm into my uterus." 

El Adjadje, in despair, conducted her forthwith back 
to her family, and, to hide his shame, repudiated her 
that very night. 

A poet said on that occasion: 

"What are caresses to an ardent woman, 
Or costly vestments and fine jewelry,^ 
If the man's organs do not meet her own. 
And she is yearning for the virile verge!" 

^ Note of the autograph edition. — The author cites here two 
names of costly garments: "l'ouchahane" and the "djelbab." 
For the translation it appeared better not to cling to the latter, 
but to give the true sense, which is: "luxurious garments and 

Concerning everything favourable to Coition 99 

Know then that the majority of women do not find 
full satisfaction in kisses and embraces without coition. 
For them it resides only in the member, and they only 
like the man who rummages them, even if he is ugly. 

A story also goes on this subject that Moussa ben 
Mesab betook himself one day to a woman in the town 
who had a female slave, an excellent singer, whom he 
wanted to buy from her. The woman was resplendently 
beautiful, and independent of her charming appearance, 
she had a large fortune. He saw at the same time in the 
house a young man of bad shape and ungainly appear- 
ance, who went to and fro giving orders. 

Moussa having asked who that man was, she told him, 
"This is my husband, and for him I would give my 
life!" "This is a hard slavery," he said, "to which you 
are reduced, and I am sorry for you. We belong to God, 
and shall return to him ! ^ but what a misfortune it is 
that such incomparable beauty and such delightful forms 
as I see in you should be for such a man!" 

She made answer, "O son of my mother,^ if he could 
do to you from behind what he does for me in front, 
you would sell your lately acquired fortune as well as 
your patrimony. He would appear to you beautiful, and 
his plain looks would be changed into beauty." 

"May God preserve him to you!" ^ said Moussa. 
It is also said that the poet Farazdak met one day a 
woman on whom he cast a glance burning with love, and 

1 Note of the autograph edition. — The Mussulman formula 
expressing resignation. (See Koran, chap, ii., verse HI.) 

' Id. A famihar expression, not exactly implying that he 
who is thus addressed is the brother of the person who uses it. 

^ Id. Literally, "God bless you in this respect." 

100 The Perfumed Garden 

who for that reason thus addressed him: "What makes 
you look at me in this fashion? Had I a thousand 
vulvas there would be nothing to hope for you!'' ''And 
why?'' said the poet. ''Because your appeaxance is not 
prepossessing," she said, "and what you keep hidden will 
be no better." He replied, "If you would put me to the 
proof, you v;ould find that my interior qualities are of a 
nature to make you forget my outer appearance." He 
then uncovered himself, and let her see a member the 
sise of the arm of a young girl. At that sight she felt 
herself getting burning hot with amorous desire. He saw 
it, and asked her to let him caress her. Then she uncov- 
ered herself and showed him her mount of Venus, 
vaulted like a cupola.^ He then did the business for 
her, and then recited these verses: — 

"I have plied in her my member, big as a virgin's arm: 
A member with a round head, and prompt to attack; 
Measuring in length a span and a half. 
And, oh! I felt as though I had put it in a brazier." 

He who seeks the pleasure a woman can give must 
satisfy her amorous desires after hot caresses as de- 
scribed. He will sec her swooning with lust, her vulva 
will get moist, her womb will stretch forward, and the 
two sperms will come together. 

1 Note of the autograph edition. — -Here appcai-s the taste of 
the Arabs for praminent pubis. The subject of this structural 
quality of women will appear frequently. 



Know, O Vizir (to whom God be good!), that the ills 
caused by coition are numerous. I will mention to you 
some of them, which are essential to know, to avoid 

Let me tell you in the first place that the coition, if 
performed standing, affects the knee-joints and brings 
about nervous shiverings; and if performed sideways 
will predispose your system for gout and sciatica, which 
resides chiefly in the hip'joint. 

Do not mount upon a woman fasting or immediately 
before making a meal, else you will have pains in your 
back, you will lose your vigor, and your eyesight will 
get weaker. 

If you do it with the woman bestriding you, your dor- 
sal cord will suffer and your heart will be affected; and 
if in that position the smallest drop of the secretions of 
the vagina enters your urethral canal, a stricture may 

Do not leave your member in the vulva after ejacula- 
tion, as this might cause gravel, or softening of the 
vertebral column, or the rupture of the bloodvessels, or 
lastly inflammation of the lungs. 

Too much exercise after coition is also detrimental. 

Avoid washing your member after the copulation, as 
this may cause canker. 

As to coition with old women, it acts like a fatal poi- 
son; and it has been said,, ''Do not rummage old women, 

102 The Perfumed Garden 

were they as rich as Karoun." ^ And it has further been 
said, "Beware of mounting old women; and if they cover 
you with favours." And again, ''The coitus of old 
women is a venomous meal." 

Know that the man who works a woman younger than 
he is himself acquires new vigor; if she is of the same 
age as he is he will derive no advantage from it, and, 
finally, if it is a woman older than himself she will take 
all his strength out of him for herself. The following 
verses treat on this subject: — 

"Be on your guard and shun coition with old women; 
In her bosom she bears the poison of the arakime." ^ 

A proverb says also, "Do not serve an old woman, 
even, if she offers to feed you with semolina and almond 

The excessive practice of the coition injures the health 
on account of the expenditure of too much sperm. For 
as butter made of cream represents the quitessence of 
the milk, and if you take the cream off, the milk loses its 
qualities, even so does the sperm form the quintessence 
of nutrition, and its loss is debilitating. On the other 
hand, the condition of the body, and consequently the 
quality of the sperm depends directly upon the food you 
take. If, therefore, a man will passionately give himself 
up to the enjoyment of coition, without undergoing too 
great fatigue, he must live upon strengthening food, ex' 

^ This Karoun, the Cora of the Bible, is reported by the 
expositors to have constructed a palace all covered with gold, 
the doors being of solid gold. He generally made a white mule 
covered with golden trappings. 

2 Note of tbe autograph edition. — Arakime is the plural of 
Arkeum, the name of a hedious serpent whose sting is fatal. 

Of Matters Injurious in the Act of Generation 103 

citing comfits,^ aromatic plants, meat, honey, eggs, and 
other similar viands. He who follows such a regime is 
protected against the following accidents, to which ex- 
cessive coition may lead. 

Firstly, the loss of generation power. 

Secondly, the deterioration of his sight; for although 
he may not become blind, he will at least have to suffer 
from eye diseases if he does not follow my advice. 

Thirdly, the loss of his physical strength; he may be- 
come like the man who wants to fly but cannot, who, 
pursuing somebody cannot catch him, or who carrying 
a burden, or working, soon gets tired and prostrated. 

He who does not want to feel the necessity for the 
coition uses camphor. Half a mitskal of this substance, 
macerated in water, makes the man who drinks it insen- 
sible to the pleasures of copulation. Many women use 
this remedy when in fits of jealousy against rivals,^ or 
when they want repose after great exercise. Then they 
try to procure camphor that has been left after a burial, 
and shrink from no expense of money to get such from 
the old women who have the charge of the corpses.* 
They make also use of the flower of henna, which is 
called faria; ^ they macerate the same in water, until it 

^^ These comfits are called madjoun, and are prepared from 
fruit, particularly from cherries and pears cooked with honey. 
According as they may be wanted more or less spiced there 
are added, in varying quantities, cinnamon, musk, etc. 

2 The mitskal is a weight of three-sevenths of a dirhem, cor- 
responding to a drachm and a half of our old system of weights 
and is equal to one gramme and ninety centigrammes. 

2 The word derair — the singular number of which is derra, 
and which is rendered in the translation with rivals — comes 
from a root which signifies to be injurious. 

•* With the Mussulmans it is customary to wash the dead 
with the greatest assiduity with perfumed waters before they 
are buried. 

104 The Perfumed Garden 

turns yeiiow, and thus supply themselv^es with a bever- 
age which has almost the same effect as camphor. 

I have treated of these remedies in the present chap' 
ter, although this is not their proper place; but I thought 
that this information, as here given, may be of use to 

There are certain things which will become injurious 
if constantly indulged in and which in the end affect the 
health. Such are: too much sleep, long voyages in un- 
favourable season, which latter, particularly in cold coun- 
tries, may weaken the body and cause disease of the 
spine. The same effects may arise from the habitual 
handling of bodies which engender cold and humidity, 
like plaster, etc. 

For people who have difficulty in passing their water 
the coitus is hurtful. 

The habit of consuming acid food is debilitating. 

To keep the member in the vulva of a woman after 
the ejaculation has taken place, be it for a long or a short 
time, enfeebles that organ and makes it less £t for coi' 

If you are lying with a woman, do her business sev' 
eral times if you feel inclined, but take care not to over- 
do it, for it is a true word that "He who plays the game 
of love for his own sake, and to satisfy his desires, feels 
the most intense and durable pleasure; but he who does 
it to satisfy the lust of another person will languish, lose 
all his desire, and finishes by becoming impotent for 

The sense of these words is, that a man when he feels 

^ Henna is a plant which is in great demand with Arabs. 
The dried leaves of it are reduced to a powder or stepped in 
water, and are then used to rouge the nails, feet, hands, hair 
and beard. 

Of Matters Injurions in the Act of Generation 105 

disposed for it can give himself up to the exercise of the 
coitus with more or less ardour according to his desires, 
and at the time which best suits him, without any fear of 
future impotence, if his enjoyment is provoked and regu- 
lated only by his feeling the want of lying with a woman. 

But he who makes love for the sake of somebody else, 
that is to say, only to satisfy the passion of his mistress, 
and tries all he can to attain that impossibility, that man 
will act against his own interest and imperil his health 
to please another person. 

As injurious may be considered coition in the bath 
or immediately after leaving the bath; after having been 
bled or purged or such like. The coitus after a heavy 
bout of drinking is likewise to be avoided. To exercise 
the coitus with a woman during her courses is- detrimen- 
tal to the man as to the woman herself, as at that time 
her blood is vitiated and her womb cold, and if the least 
drop of blood should get in the man's urinary canal 
numerous maladies may supervene. As to the woman, 
she feels no pleasure during her courses, and holds the 
coitus in aversion. 

As regards the copulation in the bath, some say that 
there is no pleasure to be derived from it, if, as is be- 
lieved, the degree of enjoyment is dependent upon the 
warmth of the vulva, and in the bath the vulva cannot 
be otherwise than cold, and consequently unfit for giv- 
ing pleasure. And it is not to be forgotten that the 
water penetrating into the sexual parts of man or woman 
may lead to grave results. 

It is pretended that to look into the cavity of the 
vagina is injurious to the eyes. This is a question for a 
physician and not for a mere advisor. 

It is told with regard to this subject that Hacen ben 

106 The Perfumed Garden 

Isehac, Sultan of Damascus, was in the habic of examin' 
ing the interior of women's parts, and being warned not 
to do it he said, "Is there a pleasure preferable to this?" 
And thus before long he was blind. 

The coitus after a full meal may occasion rupture of 
the intestines. It is also to be avoided after undergoing 
much fatigue, or at a time of very hot or very cold 

Amongst the accidents which may attend the act of 
coition in hot countries may be mentioned sudden blind' 
ness without any previous symptoms. 

The repetition of the coitus without washing the parts 
ought to be shunned, as it may enfeeble the virile power. 

The man must also abstain from copulation with his 
wife if he is in a state of legal impurity,^ for if she be' 
come pregnant by such coition the child could not be 

After ejaculation do not remain close to the woman, as 
the disposition for recommencing will suffer by doing so. 

Care is to be taken not to carry heavy loads on one's 
back or to over'Cxert the mind, if one does not want the 
coitus to be impeded. It is also not well to constantly 
wear vestments made of silk ^ as they impair all the en' 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — Legal impurity is due to 
different causes, enumerated by Sidi Khelil, in chap. i. of his 
"Rehgious Jurisprudence." The same disappears by ablution or 
by lotion. To give an example, I shall cite the following ex' 
tract from that chapter. "The lotion is obhgatory for any male 
person arrived at the age of puberty who has introduced only 
the gland of his verge, be it in carnal connection with a woman, 
or with an animal, or with a corpse, or (in case of malforma- 
tion, or on account of flaccidity) who has thus introduced part 
of his verge to the length of the gland." (Translation of 

2 It is probably owing to the great warmth developed by silk 
that the author thinks the wearing of silken stuffs to be inju' 
rious with respect to coition. It may, in fact, be admitted that 
they have that effect. 

Of Matters Injurious in the Act of Generation 107 

ergy for copulation. Silken cloths worn by women also 
affect injuriously the capacity for erection of the virile 

Fasting, if prolonged, calms the sexual desires; but in 
the beginning it excites them. 

Abstain from greasy liquids, as in the cqurse of time 
they diminish the strength necessary for coition. 

The effect of snuff, whether plain or scented, is sim' 

It is bad to wash the sexual parts with cold water di' 
rectly after copulation; in general, washing with cold 
water calms down the desire, while warm water strength' 
ens it. 

Conversation with a young woman excites in the man 
the rection and passion commensurate with the youth- 
fulness of a woman. 

An Arab addressed the following recommendations to 
his daughter at the time when he conducted her to her 
husband: "Perfume yourself with water!" meaning that 
she should frequently wash her body with water in pref' 
erence to perfumes; which are not suitable to everyone. 

It is also reported that a woman having said to her 
husband, "You are then a nobody, as you never perfume 
yourself!" he made answer, "Oh, you sloven! it is for 
the women to emit a sweet odour." 

The abuse of coition is followed by the loss of the 
taste for its pleasures; and to remedy this loss the suf' 
ferer must anoint his member with a mixture of the 
blood of a hc'goat with honey. This will procure^for 
him a marvellous effect in making love. 

It is said that reading the Koran also predisposes for 

Remember that a prudent man wrill beware of abusing 

108 . . The Perfumed Garden 

the enjoyment of the coition. The sperm is the water of 
Ufe; if you use it economically you will be always ready 
for love's pleasures; it is the light of your eye; do not be 
lavish with it at all times and whenever you have a fancy 
for enjoyment, for if you are not sparing with it you will 
expose yourself to many ills. Wise medical men say, ''A 
robust constitution is indispensable for copulation, and 
he who is endowed with it may give himself up to pleas- 
ure without danger; but it is otherwise with the weakly 
man; he runs into danger by indulging freely with 

The sage. Es Sakli, has thus determined the limits to 
be observed by man as to the indulgence of the pleasures 
of coition: Man, be he phlegmatic or sanguine, should 
not make love more than twice or thrice a month; bilious 
or hypochondriac men only once or twice a month. It 
is nevertheless a well established fact that nowadays men 
of any of these four temperaments are insatiable as to 
coition, and give themselves up to it day and night, tak' 
ing no heed how they expose themselves to numerous 

Women are more favoured than men in indulging 
their passion for coition. It is in fact their specialty; and 
for them it is all pleasure; while men run many risks in 
abandoning themselves without reserve to the pleasures 
of love. 

Having thus treated of the dangers which may occur 
from the coitus, I have considered it useful to bring to 
your knowledge the following verses which contain hygi' 
enic advice in this respect. These verses have been com- 
posed by the order of Haroun er Rachid ^ by the most 
noted physicians of his time, whom he had asked to 

1 The Haroun er Rachid in question was KaHf in the y«â£ 
170, and was acknowledged to have been one of the most 
meritorious, eloquent, cultured and generous rulers. 

Of Matters Injurious in the Act of Generation 109 

inform him of the remedies for combating ills caused by 

"Eat slowly, if your food shall do you good, 
And take good care, that it be well digested. 
Beware of things which want hard mastication; 
They are bad nourishment, so keep from them. 
Drink not directly after finishing your meal, 
Or else you go half way to meet an illness. 
Keep not within you what is of excess. 
And if you were in the most susceptible circles, 
Attend to this well before seeking your bed, 
For rest this is the first necessity. 
From medicines and drugs keep well away. 
And do not use them unless very ill. 
Use all precautions proper, for they keep 
Your body sound, and are the best support. 
Don't be too eager for round'breasted wom^cn; 
Excess of pleasure soon will make you feeble. 
And in coition you may find a sickness; 
And then you find too late that in coition 
Our spring of life runs into women's vulva. 
And before all beware of aged women, 
For their embraces will to you be poison. 
Each second day a bath should wash you clean; 
Remember these precepts and follow them." 

Those were the rules given by the sages to the master 
of benevolence and goodness, to the generous of gen^ 

All sages and physicians agree in saying that the ills 
which afflict man originate with the abiise of coition. 
The man therefore who wishes to preserve his health, 
and particularly his sight, and who wants to lead a 
pleasant life will indulge with moderation in love's 
pleasures, aware that the greatest evils may spring there- 



Know, O Vizir (to whom God be good!), that man' 
member bears different names, as: ^ 

Ed de keur, the virile member. 

El kamera, the penis. 

El air, the member for generation. 

El hamama, the pigeon. 

Et teunnana, the tinkler. 

El heurmak, the indomitable. 

El ahlil, the liberator. 

Ez; zeub, the verge. 

El hammache, the exciter. 

El fadelak, the deceiver. 

En naasse, the sleeper. 

Ez zodamne, the crowbar. 

El khiade, the tailor. 

Mochefi el relil, the extinguisher of passion. 

Ei khorrate, the turnabout. 

El deukkak, the striker. 

El aouame, the swimmer. 

Ed dekhal, the housebreaker. 

El khorradj, the sorter. 

El aouar, the one-eyed. 

El fortass, the bald. 

1 Rabelais also gives in his history of Pantagruel divers more 
or less curious names to the organ of generation pf man. 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 111 

Abou aine, the one with an eye.^ 

El atsar, the pusher. 

Ed dommar, the strong'headed. 

Abou rokba, the one with a neck.^ 

Abou quetaia, the hairy one.^ 

El besiss, the impudent one. 

El mostahi, the shamefaced one. 

El bekkai, the weeping one. 

El hezzaz, the rummager. 

El lezzaz, the unionist. 

Abou laaba, the expectorant. 

Ech chebbac, the chopper. 

El hattack, the digger. 

El fattache, the searcher. 

El hakkak, the rubber. 

El mourekhi, the flabby one. 

El motela, the ransacker. 

El mokcheuf, the discoverer. 

As regards the names of kamera ^ and dekeur, their 
meaning is plain. Dekeur is a word which signifies the 
male of all creatures, and is also used in the sense of 
"'mention" and "memory." When a man has met with 
an accident to his member, when it has been amputated, 

^ The word "abou" signifies father, and "abou aine," literally 
translated, means father of the eye. But in reality the word 
used in this way indicates the possession, and means who has. 
See the "Chrestomathie Arabe" of Bresnier, page 67, second 
edition, note 2 of No. xv. 

There are a great many similar combinations of words form- 
ing surnames or nicknames. Frequent recurrences in this sense 
will appear in this work. 

2 Kamera also signifies the "gland of the penis." The root of 
it, kemeur, means, "to have a larger penis or gland than any 
other man," and in a third form, "rivaUing any body with re 
spect to the size of the penis. 

112 The Perfumed Garden 

or has become weak, and he can, in consequence, no 
longer fulfil his conjugal duties, they say of him: ''the 
member of such a one is dead"; which means: the re- 
membrance of him will be lost, and his generation is cut 
off by the root. When he died they will say, "His mem- 
ber has been cut off," meaning, ''His memory is departed 
from the world." ^ 

The dekeur plays also an important part in dreams. 
The man who dreams that his member has been cut off 
is certain to live long after that dream, for, as said 
above, it presages his loss of memory and the extinction 
of his race. 

I shall treat this subject more particularly in the ex' 
plication of dreams.^ 

The teeth (senane) represent years (senine) ; if there- 
fore a man sees in a dream a fine set of teeth, this is for 
him a sign of a long life. 

If he sees his nail (defeur) reversed or upside down, 
this is an indication that the victory (defeur) which he 
has gained over his enemies will change sides; and from 
a victor; he will become the vanquished; inversely, if he 
sees the neal of his enemy turned the wrong way, he can 
conclude that the victory which had been with his en- 
emy will soon return to him. 

The sight of a lily (sonsana) is the prognostication of 
a misfortune lasting a year (son, misfortune; sena, year). 

The appearance of ostriches (namate) in dreams is of 
bad augury, because their name being formed of naa 
and mate, signifies "news of death," namely, peril. 

1 Note of the autograph edition. — There is here a play of 
words respecting the different meanings of dekeur, and which 
it is impossible to give in English. 

- The exphcation of these dreams turns generally upon words 
with several meanings, or upon references to the radical letters 
of which they are composed. 

Names Given to the Sexiial Parts of Mem 113 

To dream of a shield (henata) means the coming on 
of all sorts of misfortune, for this word, by a change of 
letters, gives koul afa, "all bad luck." 

The sight of a fresh rose (ourarde) announces the ar' 
rival (oroud) of a pleasure to make the heart tremble 
with joy; a faded rose indicates deceitful news. It is the 
same with baldness of the temples, and similar things.^ 

The pessamine (yasmine) is formed of yas, signifying 
deception, or the happening of a thing contrary to your 
wish, and mine, which means untruth. The man, then, 
who sees a pessamine in his dream is to conclude that 
the deception, yas, in the name yasmine, is an untruth, 
and will thus be assured of the success of his enterprise.^ 
However, the prognostications furnished by the jessa- 
mine have not the same character of certainty as those 
given by the rose. It differs greatly from this latter- 
flower, inasmuch as the sUghtest breath of wind v>;ill 
upset it. 

The sight of a saucepan (beurma) announces the con- 
clusion (anuberame) of affairs in which one is engaged. 
Abou DjaheP (God's curse be upon him!) has added 
that such conclusion would take place during the night. 

A jar (khabia) is the sign of turpitude (khebets) in 
every kind of affair, unless it is one that has fallen into a 

^ Some Mussulmans have the hairs plucked from the temples 
in order to look younger. This operation, which does not real- 
ize, in the eyes of strangers, the appearance of a reality, is con- 
sidered by the author as being like the announcements of lying 

- This play of words upon jessamine is taken from the work 
of Azzedine el Mocadesi, called, "The Birds and the Flowers." 

■''Abou Djahel, one of the foremost men of the Koreichites, 
was a sworn enemy of Mohammed and of his doctrine. His 
real name is Ameur bên Heichame, of the family of Moukh- 
zoum. He received also the surname of Abou el Heukoum, the 
man gifted with wisdom. 

114 The Perfumed Garden 

pit or river and got broken, so as to let escape all the 
calamities contained in it. 

Sawing wood (nechara) means good news (bechara) . 

The inkstand (douaia) indicates the remedy (doua), 
namely, the cure of a malady, unless it be burnt, broken 
or lost, when it means the contrary. 

The turban (amama) if seen to fall over the face and 
covering the eyes is a presage of blindness (aina), from 
which God preserve us! 

The finding again in good condition a gem that has been 
lost or forgotten is a sign of success. 

If one dreams that he gets out of a window (taga) he 
will know that he will come with advantage out of all 
transactions he may have, whether important or not. 
But if the window seen in the dream is narrow so that 
he had trouble to get out, it will be a sign to him that in 
order to be successful he will have to make efforts in 
proportion to the difficulty experienced by him in get' 
ting out. 

The bitter orange signifies that from the place where 
it was seen calumnies will be issuing.^ 

Trees (achedjar) mean discussions (mechadjera) . 

The carrot (asefnaria) prognosticates misfortune 
(asef) and sorrow. 

The turnip (cufte) means for the man that has seen it 
a matter that is past and gone (ameur fate) , so that there 
is no going back to it. The matter is weighty if it ap- 
peared large, of no importance if seen small; in shorty 
important in proportion to the size of the turnip seen.^ 

1 The connection no doubt originates with the fact that cal- 
umny bears bitter fruits, hke the one in question. 

2 It must be confessed, looking at the forced relationship be- 
tween "cufte" and "ameur fate," that the author gets easily over 
any difficulties in his explanations of dreams. - 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 115 

A musket seen without its being fired means a corn- 
plot contrived in secret, and of no importance. But if it 
is seen going off it is a sign that the moment has ar- 
rived for the reahzation of the complot. 

The sight of fire is of bad augury. 

If the pitcher (brik)^ of a man who has turned to God 
breaks, this is a sign that his repentance is in vain, but if 
the glass out of which he drinks wine breaks, this means 
that he returns to God. 

If you have dreamed of feasts and sumptuous ban- 
quets, be sure that quite contrary things will come to 

If you have seen somebody bidding adieu to people 
on their going away you may be certain that it will be 
the later who will shortly wish him a good journey, 
for the poet says: 

"If you have seen your friend saying good-bye, rejoice; 

Let your soul be content as to him who is far away, 

For you may look forward to his speedy return, 

And the heart of him who said adieu will come back to you." ^ 

The coriander (keusbeur) signifies that the vulva 
(keuss) is in proper condition. 

On this subject there is a story that the Sultan Haroun 
er Rachid having with him several persons of mark with 
whom he was familiar, rose and left them to go to one of 
his wives, with whom he wanted to enjoy himself. He 

1 The "brik" is a small earthenware pitcher provided with a 
handle, which the Arab generally carries about with him filled 
with water for quenching his thirst. It has a peculiar shaped 
neck, which allows the water to be drunk easily. 

2 This is again a play of words by transposing letters, which 
the author employs for explaining dreams, like the one given 
in Note 2 on p. 117. The case here rests upon the words 
"aoud" and "oudaa," adieu. 

116 The Perfumed Garden 

found her suffering from the courses, and returned to 
his companions, resigned to his disappointment. 

Now it happened that a moment afterwards the wo- 
man found herself free from her discharge. When she 
had assured herself of this, she made forthwith her ablu- 
tions, and sent to the Sultan by a negress, a plate of 

Haroun er Rachid was seated amongst his friends 
when the negress brought the plate to him. He took it 
and examined it, but did not understand the meaning of 
its being sent to him by his wife. At last he handed it 
to one of his poets, who, having looked at it attentively, 
i^ecited to him the following verses. 

"She has sent you coriander (k.eusheur)i 
White as sugar; 
• I have placed it in my palm, 

And concentrated all my thoughts upon it, 

In order to find out its meaning; 

And I have seized it. O my master, what she wants to say. 

It is, 'My vulva is restored to health' (keussi bcuri)." 

Er Rachid was surprised at the wit shown by the wo- 
man, and at the poet's penetration. Thus that which 
was to remain a mystery remained hidden, and that 
which was to be known was divulged. 

A drawn sword is a sign of war, and the victory wHl 
remain with him who holds its hilt. . 

A bridle means servitude and oppression. 

A long beard points to good fortune and prosperity; 
but it is a sign of death if it reaches down to the ground. 

Others pretend that the intelligence of each man is in 

^ The coriander, "keusbeur," preserves, viands, as salt .daes. 
The viands dried and seasoned with spices, are caîîed "khelia." 
They will keep good for a year and longer. Coriander is, more' 
over, a stimulant. 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 117 

an inverse proportion to the length of his beard; that is 
to say, a big beard denotes a small mind. A story goes 
in this respect, that a man who had a long beard saw 
one day a book with the following sentence inscribed on 
its back. ''He whose chin is garnished with a large 
beard is as foolish as his beard is long." Afraid of be- 
ing taken for a fool by his acquaintances, he thought of 
getting rid of what there was too much of his beard, and 
to this end, it being night time, he grasped a handful of 
his beard close to the chin, and set the remainder on fire 
by the light of the lamp. The flame ran rapidly up the 
beard and reached his hand, which he had to withdraw 
precipitately on account of the heat. Thus his beard 
was burnt off entirely. Then he wrote on the back of 
the book under the abovementioned sentence, "These 
words are entirely true. I, who am now writing this, 
have proved their truth." Being himself convinced that 
the weakness of the intellect is proportioned to the 
length of the beard.^ 

On the same subject it is related that Haroun er 
Rachid, being in a kiosk, saw a man with a long beard. 
He ordered the man to be brought before him, and 
when he was there he asked him, ''What is your name?" 
"Abou Arouba," replied the man. "What is your pro- 
fession?" "I am master in controversy. 

Haroum then gave him the following case to solve. A 

1 This little tale brings out, not without humour, the double 
stupidity of the man who is its hero, and who, not content 
with burning off his whole beard, and probably also burning 
his skin, is writing down a certificate of his imbecility in the 
inscription which he adds with his own hand on the back of 
the book. One may, up to a certain point, discern here a con- 
nection between this demonstration and the famous argument: 
Epimenides says, "That the Cretans are liars." Now Epimenides 
is a Cretan. 

118 The Perfumed Gm-den 

man buys a hc'goat, who, in voiding his excrements, hits 
the buyer's eye with part of it and injures the same. 
Who has to pay for the damages? ''The seller," prompt' 
ly says Abou Arouba. "And why?" asked the Kalif. 
"Because he had sold the animal without warning the 
buyer that it had a catupult in its anus," answered the 
man. At these words the Kalif began to laugh immod' 
erately, and recited the following verses: 

"When the beard of the young man 
Has grown down to his navel, 
The shortness of his intellect is in my eyes 
Proportioned to the length his beard has grown." 

It is averred by many authors that amongst proper 
names there are such as bring luck and others that bring 
ill luck, according to the meaning they bear. 

The names Ahmed, Mohammed, Hamdouna, Ham' 
doun indicate in encounters and dreams the lucky issue 
arrived at in a transaction.^ Ali, Alia indicate the height 
and elevation of rank.^ Naserouna, Naseur, Mansour, 
Naseur Allah, signify triumph over enemies.^ Salem, 
Salema Selim, Selimane indicate success in all affairs; 
also security for him who is in danger.'* Fetah Allah, 
Fetah indicate victory, like all the other names which in 
their meaning speak of lucky things.^ The names Rad, 

^ The root of these names is "hamd," which means to praise, 
glorify, to bear oneself worthy of praise. 

2 The root is "ala," signifying high, elevated both in reality 
and figuratively. 

3 From "neseur," meaning to help, and by extension to carry 
off the victory. The word God is understood; helped by God 
is being victorious. 

^From the root "selem," which means to be right and well, 
to escape from a danger, to be safe. 
^ Ahmed, Mohammed, etc. 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 119 

Raad signify thunder, tumult, and comprise everythiiag 
in connection with this meaning.^ Abou el Feurdj and 
Ferendj indicate joy; Ranem and Renime success, Khalf 
Allah and Khaleuf compensation for a loss, and benedic- 
tion. The sense of Abder Rassi, Hafid and Mahfond is 
favourable. The names in which the words latif (bene- 
volent), mourits (helpful), hanine (compassionate), aziz 
(beloved) , carry with them, in conformity with the sense 
of these words, the ideas of benevolence, lateuf (char- 
ity) , iratsa (compassion) , hanana, and aiz (favour) . As 
an example of words of an unfavourable omen I will 
cite el ouar, el ouara, which imply the idea of difficulties. 

As supporting the truth of the preceding observations 
I will refer to this saying of the Prophet (the salutation 
and benevolence of God to him!). Compare the names 
appearing in your dreams with their significance, so that 
you may draw therefrom your conclusions." ^ 

I must confess that this was not the place for treating 
of this subject, but one word leads on to more. I now 
return to the subject of this chapter, viz: the different 
names of the sexual parts of man. 

The name of el air is derived from el kir (the smith's 
bellows) . In fact if you turn in the latter word the K, 
kef, so that it faces the opposite way, you will find the 
word to read ei air.^ The member is called so on ac- 

1 The root "rad" signifies to thunder, menace as a verb; and 
tumult, trembling, misfortune, calamity as a substantive. 

2 See the hadits, or traditions left by Mohammed. 

3 This origin of the wprd air, although ingeniojis, is unlikely. 
It rests upon turning the Arab letter kef, preceded by the letter 
lam making it lam alif. It is thus that kir, turning the kef the 
other way, will read air. 

120 The Perfumed Garden 

count of its alternate swelling and subsiding again. If 
swollen up it stands erect, and if not sinks down flaccid. 

It is called el hamama (the pigeon) , because after hav- 
ing been swelled out it resembles at the moment when it 
returns to repose a pigeon sitting on her eggs.^ 

El teunnana (the tinkler) . — So called because when it 
enters or leaves the vulva in coition it makes a noise. 

El heurmak (the indomitable).^ — It has received this 
name because when in a state of erection it begins to 
move its head, searching for the entrance to the vulva 
till it has found it, and then walks in quite insolently, 
without asking leave. 

El ahlil (the Hberator). — Thus called because in pene- 
trating into the vulva of a woman thrice repudiated it 
gives her the liberty to return to her first husband.^ 

Ez; zeub (the verge).— From the word deub, which 
means creeping. This name was given to the member 
because when it gets between a woman's thighs and feels 
a plump vulva it begins to creep upon the thighs and the 
Mount of Venus, then approaches the entrance of the 
vulva, and keeps creeping in until it is in possession and 
is comfortably lodged, and having it all its own way pen- 
etrates into the middle of the vulva, there to ejaculate.* 

1 In Arabic the word which signifies eggs is also used for 
testicles, hence the comparison made by the author. 

2 Heurmak is not a common Arabian word. It signifies a 
fiery, violent, indomitable stallion. 

^ Note of the autograph edition. — According to the Mussul- 
man law a wife that has been divorced by the thrice repeated 
formula cannot marry again her first husband until she has 
married another man, and been divorced from him. 

* In several passages of this work the man is advised when 
in coition to place his member well in the centre of the vagina 
at the crisis. The Arabian sages arc not agreed upon the sense 
of this advice. 

Nantes Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 121 

El hammache (the exciter) .—It has received this name 
because it irritates the vulva by frequent entries and 

El fadelak (the deceiver) .—It takes this name from its 
ruses and deceits. This expression signifies liar. Calling 
somebody a fadelak means that he is a deceiver. When 
he desires coition he says, "If God gives me the chance 
to encounter a vulva I shall never part with it." And 
when he has got at one he is soon sated; his presumption 
is apparent, and he looks at it despairingly, because he 
has been boasting that, once in, he would not come out 

In coming near a woman it is getting again into erec- 
tion, and seems to say to the vulva, "To-day I shall 
quench my desires with you, O my soul!" The vulva, 
seeing it erect, and stiff, is surprised at its dimensions, 
and seems to say, "Who could take in such a member?" 
For any other answer, it gets its head into the lips of the 
vulva, makes it open its mouth, and penetrate to its bot- 
tom. When it begins to move about, the vulva makes 
fun of it, saying, "How deceitful your movements is!" 
for before it has been in long it retires again; and the 
two testicles seem to say to each other, "Our member is 
dead; it has succumbed after the arrival of the pleasure, 
the quenching of its passion, and the emission of the 
sperm!" The member itself, coming precipitately out of 
the vulva, tries to hold up its head, but it sinks down 
soft and sluggish. The testicles repeat, "Our brother is 
dead! our brother is dead!" It protests, saying, "Noth- 
ing of the sort"; but the vulva cries, "Why did you 
retire? Oh you liar! You had said if you were once 
in you would never come out again." 

En naasse (the sleeper). From its deceitful appear- 
ance. When it gets into erection, it lengthens out and 

122 The Perfumed Garden 

stiffens itself to such an extent that one might think it 
would never get soft again. But when it has left the 
vulva, after having satisfied its passion, it goes to sleep. 

There are members that fall asleep while inside the 
vulva, but the majority of them come out firm; but at 
that moment they get drowsy and little by little they go 
to sleep. 

Ez zoddame (the crowbar). — It is so called because 
when it meets the vulva and the same will not let it pass 
in directly, it forces the entrance with its head, breaking 
and tearing everything, like a wild beast in the rutting 

El khiate (the tailor). — It takes this name from the 
circumstance that it does not enter the vulva until it has 
manoeuvred about the entrance, like a needle in the hand 
of a tailor, creeping and rubbing against it until it is 
sufficiently roused, after which it enters. 

Mochefi el relil (the extinguisher of passion). — This 
name is given to a member which is large, strong, and 
slow to ejaculate; such a member satisfies most complete' 
ly the amorous wishes of a woman; for, after having 
wrought her up to the highest pitch, it allays her excite 
ment better than any other. And, in the same way, it 
calms the ardour of the man. When it wants to get into 
the vulva, and arriving at the portal, finds it closed, it 
laments, begs and promises: "Oh! my love! let me come 
in, I will not stay long." And when it has been admitted, 
it breaks its word, and makes a long stay, and does not 
take its leave till it has satisfied its ardour by the ejacula' 
tion of the sperm, coming and going, tilting high and 
low, and rummaging right and left. The vulva protests, 
"How about your word, you deceiver?" She says, "you 
said you would only stop in for a moment." And the 
member ansvv^ers, "Oh, certainly! I shall not retire until 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 123 

I have encountered your womb; but after having found 
it, I will engage to withdraw at once." At these words, 
the vulva takes pity on him, and advances her matrix, 
which clasps and kisses its head, as if saluting it.^ The 
member then retires with its passion cooled down. 

El khorrate (the turnabout). — ^This name was given 
to it because on arriving at the vulva it pretends to come 
on important business, knocks at the door, turns about 
everywhere, without shame or bashfulness, investigating 
every corner to the right and left, forward and back- 
ward, and then all at once darts right to the bottom of 
the vagina for the ejaculation. 

Ed deukkak (the striker) . — Thus called because on ar- 
riving at the entrance of the vulva it gives a slight knock. 
If the vulva opens the door, it enters; if there is no re- 
sponse, it begins to knock again and does not cease until 
it is admitted. The parasite ^ who wants to get into the 
house of a rich man to present at a feast does the same, 
he knocks at the door; and if it is opened, he walks in; 
but if there is no response to his knock, he repeats it 
again and again until the door is opened. And similarly 
the deukkak with the door of the vulva. 

By "knocking at the door" is meant the friction of the 
member against the entrance of the vulva until the latter 
becomes moist. The appearance of this moisture is the 

1 Note of the autograph edition. — This image is drawn from 
a kind of salute very much in use by the lower class of Mus- 
sulmans when meeting a superior by seizing the head of the 
latter, and drawing it down so as to be able to kiss it. 

^ The word teufil of the text rendered in the translation with 
"parasite" is the name of a man who lived in Coufa, an impor- 
tant town, in Irak, and whom they had nicknamed Teufil el 
Aaress, the wedding teufil, because he always came to a wedding 
feast without invitation. 

124 The Perfumed Garden 

phenomenon alluded to by the expression "opening the 

El aouame (the swimmer). — Because when it enters 
the vulva it does not remain in one favourite place, but, 
on the contrary, turns to the right, to the left, goes for' 
ward, draws back, and then moves like swimming in the 
middle amongst its own sperm and the fluid furnished 
by the vulva, as if in fear of drowning and trying to 
save itself. 

Ed dekhal (the housebreaker). — Merits that name be- 
cause on coming to the door of the vulva this one askâ, 
"What do you want?" "I want to come in!" "Impossible! 
I cannot take you in on account of your size." Then the 
member insists that the other one should only receive its 
head, promising not to come in entirely; it then ap' 
proaches, rubs its head twice or thrice between the vul' 
va's lips, till they get humid and thus lubricated, then 
introduces first its head, and after, with one push, 
plunges in up to the testicles. 

El korradj (the coward). — So called because on ap' 
preaching a vulva which has been deprived of the coitus 
for some time, and trying to get in, the vulva, in heat 
with amorous passion, says, "Yes! but on one condition, 
and that is, if you enter you must not leave again until 
you have ejaculated so and so many times." Upon which 
the member replies, "I promise you that I will not with' 
draw until I have done you three times oftener than you 
have named." Once in, the intense heat of the vulva 
promotes the enjoyment; the member goes to and fro, 
burning for the perfect pleasure engendered by the alter- 
nate friction against the lips of the vulva and against the 
matrix. As soon as one ejaculation has taken place it 
tries promptly to withdraw, which causes the vulva to 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 125 

cry out, "Why do you leave, you liar? You should be 
called coward and liar." 

El aaouar (the one-eyed). — Because it has but one 
eye, which eye is not like other eyes, and does not see 

El fortass (the bald one). — Because there is no hair 
on its head, which makes it look bald. 

Abou aine (he with one eye) . — It has received this 
name because its one eye presents the peculiarity of be- 
ing without pupil and eyelashes. 

El atsar (the stumbler). — It is called so because if it 
wants to penetrate in the vulva, as it does not see the 
door, it beats about above and below, and thus continues 
to stumble as over stones in the road, until the lips of 
the vulva gets humid, when it manages to get inside. 
The vulva then says, '"What has happened to you that 
made you stumble about so?" The member answers, "O 
my love, it was a stone lying in the road." 

Ed dommar (the odd'headed) .—Because its head is 
different from all other heads. 

Abou rokba (the one with a neck). — ^That is the be' 
ing with a short neck, a well developed throat, and thick 
at the end, a bald head, and who, moreover, has coarse 
and bristly hair from the navel to the pubis. 

Abou guetaia (the hairy one; who has a forest of 
hair). — It is given this name when the hair is abundant 
about it. 

El besiss (the impudent). — It has received this name 
because from the moment that it gets stiff and long it 
does not care for anybody, lifts impudently the clothing 
of its master by raising its head fiercely, and makes him 
ashamed while itself feels no shame. It acts in the same 

^ The epithet of onceyed is also given by Martial to the virile 

126 The Perfumed Garden 

unabashed way with women, turning up their clothes 
and laying bare their thighs. Its master may blush at 
this conduct, but as to itself its stiffness and determina- 
tion to plunge into a vulva only increase. 

El mostahi (the shame-faced) . — ^This sort of member, 
which is met with sometimes, is capable of feeling 
ashamed and timid when facing a vulva which it does 
not know, and it is only after a little time that it gets 
bolder and stiffens. Sometimes it is even so much troub' 
led that it remains incompetent for the coitus, which 
happens in particular when a stranger is present, in 
which case it becomes quite incapable of moving. 

El bekkai (the weeper). — So called on account of the 
many tears it sheds; as soon as it gets in erection, it 
weeps; when it sees a pretty face, it weeps; handling a 
woman, it weeps. It even weeps tears sacred to memory. 

El he2;2;a? (the rummager) . — It is named thus because 
as soon as it penetrates into the vulva it begins to rum- 
mage about vigorously, until it has appeased its passion. 

El lezzaz (the unionist) . — Received that name because 
as soon as it is in the vulva it pushes and works till fur 
meets fur, and even makes efforts to force the testicles in. 

Abou laaba (the expectorant). — Has received this 
name because when coming near a vulva, or when its 
master touches a woman or plays with her or kisses her, 
its saliva begins to move and it has tears in its eye; this 
saliva is particularly abundant when it has been for some 
time out of work, and it will even wet then his master's 
dress. This member is very common, and there are but 
few people who are not furnished with it. 

The liquid it sheds is cited by lawyers under the name 

Names Given to the Sexual Parts of Man 127 

of medi.'^ Its production is the result of toyings and of 
lascivious thoughts. With some people it is so abundant 
as to fill the vulva, so that they may erroneously believe 
that it comes from the woman. 

Ech chelbak (the chopper). — So called because when 
it enters a juicy vulva it makes a noise like the sounds 
produced by the chopping waves of a lake. 

El hattak (the staver in) . — This is the vigorous mem- 
ber which becomes very long and hard, like a staff or a 
bone. Its name signifies that it tears the membrane in 
the virginal vulva, and makes the blood run abundantly.^ 

El fattache (the searcher). — From its habit when in 
the vulva to turn in every direction as if in search of 
something, and that something is the matrix. It will 
know no rest until it has found it. 

El hakkak (the rubber) . — It has got this name because 
it will not enter the vagina until it has rubbed its head 
against the entrance and the lower part of the belly. It 
is frequently mistaken for the next one. 

El mourekhi (the flabby one). — ^The one who can 
never get in because it is too soft, and which is therefore 
content to rub its head against the entrance to the vulva 
until it ejaculates. It gives no pleasure to woman, but 
only inflames her passion without being able to satisfy 
it. and makes her cross and irritable. 

El motela (the ransacker) . — So named because it pen- 

^ Note of the autograph edition. — Medi, sperm exuding by 
the mere touching of a woman. — "Dictionary of Kasimirski," 
page 182. No doubt the prostatic moisture is alluded to here. 

' The root of the word "hattak," used by the author, does not 
only mean to tear a veil, but also to violate, take the flower of a 
virgin. It thus becomes a membrane which is violently broken 
by the efforts of the member. 

128 The Perfumed Garden 

etrates into unusual places, makes itself well acquainted 
with the state of the vulvas, and can distinguish their 
qualities and faults. 

El mokcheuf (the discoverer) . — Has been thus denom' 
inated because in getting up and raising its head, it raises 
the vestments which hide it, and uncovers its master's 
nudities, and because it is also not afraid to lay bare the 
vulvas which it does not yet know, and to lift up the 
clothes which cover them without shame. It is not ac- 
cessible to any sense of bashfulness, cares for nothing 
and respects nothing. Nothing which concerns the co- 
itus is strange to it; it has a profound knowledge of the 
state of humidity, freshness, dryness, tightness or 
warmth of vulvas, which it explores assiduously. There 
are, in fact, certain vulvas of an exquisite exterior, 
plump and fine outside, while their inside leaves much 
to wish for, and they give no pleasure, owing to their 
being not warm, but very humid, and having other simi- 
lar faults. It is for this reason that the mokcheuf tries 
to find out about things concerning the coitus, and has 
received this name. 

These are the principal names that have been given to 
the virile member according to its qualities. Those that 
think that the number of these names is not exhaustive 
can look for more; but I think I have given a nomen- 
clature long enough to satisfy my readers. 



El feurdj, the slit. 

El keuss, the vulva. 

El kelmoune, the voluptuous. 

El ass, the primitive. 

Ez zerzour, the starling. 

Ech cheukk, the chink. 

Abou tertour, the one with a crest. ^ 

Abou khochime, the one with a little nosc.^ 

El guenfond, the hedgehog. 

Es sakouti, the silent one. 

Ed deukkak, the crusher. 

Et tseguil, the importunate. 

El fechefache, the watering-can. 

El becha, the horror. 

El taleb, the yearning one. 

El hacene, the beautiful. 

En neuffakh, the one that swells. 

^ Here are some of the names given by Rabelais to the natural 
parts of women; le serrecropiere, le cahbistris, le pcrtuys, le 

2 The word abou signifies father, and abou aine literally trans- 
lated means "father of the eye,," but in reality the word used in 
this way indicates the possession, and means, "who has." — Sec 
the "Chrestomathie Arabe" of Bresnier, page 67, second edition, 
note 2 of No. xv. There are a great many similar combina- 
tions of words forming surnames or nicknames. Frequent re- 
currences in this sense will appear in this work. 

130 The Perfumed Garden 

Abou djebaha, the one with a projection.^ 

Elouasa, the vast one. 

El dride, the large one. 

Abou beldoum, the glutton.^ 

El mokaour, the bottomless. 

Abou cheufrine, the two lipped.^ 

Abou aungra, the humpbacked.^ 

El rorbal, the seive. 

El hezzaz, the restless. 

El lezzaz, the unionist. 

El moudd, the accommodating. 

El moudine, the assistant. 

El mokeubbeub, the vaulted one. 

El meusboul, the long one. 

El molki, the duellist. 

El mokabeul, the ever ready for the fray. 

Ei harrab, the fugitive. 

El sabeur, the resigned. 

El maoui, the juicy. 

El moseuffah, the barred one. 

El mezour, the deep one. 

El addad, the biter. 

El menssass, the sucker. 

El zeunbur, the wasp. 

El harr, the hot one. 

El ladid, the delicious one. 

As regards the vulva called el feurdi, the slit, it has 
got that name because it opens and shuts again when 
hotly yearning for the coitus, Hke the one of a mare in 
heat at the approach of the stallion. This word, how- 

1 See note 2 ojn preceding page. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 181 

ever, is applied indiscriminately to the natural parts of 
men and women, for God the Supreme has used this 
expression in the Koran, chap, xxxiii., v. 35, "El hafidine 
feuroudjahoum oui el hafidate." ^ The proper meaning 
of feurdj is slit, opening, passage; people say, "I have 
found a feurdj in the mountains, viz., a passage; there is 
then a soukoune upon the ra and a fatcha upon the 
djine, and in this sense it means also the natural parts of 
woman. But if the ra is marked with a fatcha it signifies 
the deliverance from misfortunes.^ 

The person who dreams of having seen the vulva, 
feurdj, of a woman will know that "if he is in trouble 
God will free him of it; if he is in a perplexity he will 
soon get out of it; and lastly if he is in poverty he will 
soon become wealthy, because feurdj, by transposing the 
vowels, will mean the deliverance from evil. By analogy, 
if he wants a thing he will get it; if he has debts, they 
will be paid." 

It is considered more lusky to dream of the vulva as 
open. But if the one seen belongs to a young virgin it 
indicates that the door of consolation will remain closed, 
and the thing which is desired is not obtainable. It is a 
proved fact that the man who sees in his dream the vulva 
of a virgin that has never been touched will certainly be 
involved in difficulties, and will not be lucky in his af' 

^ The literal translation is, "men and women who are sparing 
with their sexual organs," feurdj being rendered by sexual 
organ. This quotation really proves that the word feurdj applies 
to both sexes. The passage may be translated, "the persons of 
both sexes who are chaste," and is thus given in the Koran 
translation of Kazimirski. 

^ In Arabic, words composed of the same letters may bear 
different meaning according to the marks, which affect their 

132 The Perfumed Garden 

fairs. But if the vulva is open so that he can look well 
into it, or even if it is hidden but he is free to enter it, 
he will bring the most difficult tasks to a successful end 
after having first failed in them, and this after a short 
delay, by the help of a person whom he never thought 

He who has seen in his dream a man busy upon a 
young girl, and when the same is getting off her man- 
aged to see at that moment her vulva, will bring his 
business to a happy end, after having first failed to do 
so, by the help of the man he has seen. If it is himself 
who did the girl's business, and he has seen her vulva, 
he will succeed by his own exertions to realize the most 
difficult problems, and be successful in every respect. 
Generally speaking, to see the vulva in dreams is a good 
sign; so it is of good augury to dream of coition, and he 
who sees himself in the act, and finishing with the ejacu- 
lation, will meet success in all his affairs. But it is not 
the same with the man who merely begins coition and 
does not finish it. He, on the contrary, will be unlucky 
in every enterprise. 

It is supposed that the man who dreams of being busy 
with a woman will afterwards obtain from her what he 

The man who dreams of cohabiting with women with 
whom to have sexual intercourse is forbidden by religion, 
as for instance his mother, sister, etc. (maharime), must 
consider this as a presage that he will go to sacred places 
(moharreme) ; and, perhaps, even journey to the holy 
house of God, and look upon the grave of the Prophet.^ 

^ The word harame signifies at the same time ilHcit, forbid' 
den action, and a holy thing. Moharreme indicates the holy 
soil of Mecca, the place of pilgrimage for Mussulmans. Maha- 
rime designates the persons whom to enjoy in coition is prO' 
hibited by religion. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 133 

As regards the virile member, it has been previously 
mentioned that to dream of accident occurring to the or- 
gan means the loss of remembrance and extinction of 
the race. 

The sight of a pair of pantaloons (seronal) prognosti- 
cates the appointment to a place (aulaia), by reason of 
the analogy of the letters composing the word seronal 
with those forming by transposition the two words sir, 
go, and ouali, named: ''go to the post to which you are 
named." It is related that a man who had dreamed that 
the Emir had given him a pair of pantaloons became 
Cadi. Dreaming of pantaloons is also a sign of protec- 
tion for the natural parts, and foretells success in busi- 

The almond (louze), a word composed of the same 
letters as zal, to cease, seen in a dream by a man in 
trouble means that he will be liberated from it; to a man 
who is ill, that he will be cured; in short that all misfor- 
tunes will give away. Somebody having dreamed that 
he was eating almonds, asked a wise man the meaning 
of it; he received the answer, that by reason of the anal- 
ogy of the letters in lou2;e and 2;al, the ills that best him 
would disappear; and the event justified the explanacon. 

The sight of a molar tooth (deurss) in a dream indi- 
cates enmity. The man, therefore, who has seen his 
tooth drop out may be sure that his enemy is dead. This 
arises from the word deurss, signifying both an enemy 
and a molar, and one can say at the same time, "It is my 
tooth and it is my enemy." ^ 

The window (taga)^ and the shoe (medassa) reminds 

1 Deurss signifies a molar tooth and a rnan difficult to live 
with, hence enemy. 

2 The Arabs use sometimes in joke the word taga (window) 
for designating the sexual organ of woman. 

134 The Perfumed Garden 

you of women. The vulva resembles in fact, when in' 
vaded by the verge, a window with a man putting his 
head in to look about, or a shoe that is being put on. 
Consequently, he who sees himself in dreaming in the 
act of getting in at a window, or putting on a shoe, has 
the certainty of getting possession of a young woman or 
a virgin, if the window is newly built, or the shoe new 
and in good condition; but that the woman will be old 
according to the state of the window or shoe. 

The loss of a shoe foretells to a man the loss of his 

To dream of something folded together, and which 
gets open, predicts that a secret will be divulged and 
made public. The same remaining folded up indicates, 
on the other hand, that the secret will be kept. 

If you dream of reading a letter you will know that 
you will have news, which will be, according to the 
nature of the contents of the letter, good or bad. 

The man who dreams of passages in the Koran or the 
Traditions, Hadits, will from the subjects treated therein 
draw his conclusions. For instance the passage, "He will 
grant you the help of God and immediate victory," will 
signify to him victory and triumph. "Certainly he (God) 
has the decision in has hands." "Heavens will open and 
offer its numerous portals." And other similar passages 
indicate success. 

A passage treating of punishments prognosticates puu' 
ishment; from those treating of benefits a lucky event 
may be concluded. Such is the passage in the Koran, 
which says: "He who forgives sins is terrible in his in- 
flictions." ^ 

1 "Who effaces sins, welcomes repentance, and who is terrible 
in punishments." Koran, chap, xi., v. 2. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 135 

Dreams about poetry and songs contain their expia- 
nations in the contents of the objects of the dream. 

He who dreams of horses, mules, or asses may hope 
for good, for the Prophet (God's salutation and good' 
ness be with him!) has said, "Men's fortunes are at- 
tached to the forelocks of their horses till to the day of 
resurrection!" and it is written in the Koran, ''God the 
Highest has thus willed it that they serve you for 
mounts and for state." ^ 

The correctness of these prognostications is not sub- 
ject to any doubt. 

He who dreams of seeing himself mounted upon an 
ass as a courier, and arriving at his destination, will be 
lucky in all things; but he who tumbles off the ass on his 
way is advised that he will be subject to accidents and 

The fall of the turban from the head predicts igno- 
miny, the turban being the Arab's crown. 

If you see yourself in a dream with naked feet it means 
a loss; and the bare head has the same significance. 

By transposing the letters other analogies may be 
arrived at. 

These explanations are here not in their place; but I 
have been induced to give them in this chapter on ac- 
count of the use to which they may be put. Persons 
who would wish to know more on this subject have only 
to consult the treatise of Ben Sirine. I now return to 
the names given to the sexual parts of women. 

El keuss (the vulva) .^ — ^This word serves as the name 
of a young woman's vulva in particular. Such a vulva is 

1 "11" (God Bas given you horses, mules, and asses to serve 
you as mounts and for pomp. He has created what you do 
not doubt." Koran, chap, xvi., v. 8. 

2 The word keuss, signifying the natural parts of woman, is 
not an original Arabic word; it is taken from the Greek. 

136 The Perfumed Garden 

very plump and round in every direction, with long lips, 
grand slit, the edges well divided and symmetrical and 
rounded; it is soft, seductive, perfect throughout. It is 
the most pleasant and no doubt the best of all the dif- 
ferent sorts. May God grant us the possession of such 
a vulva! Amen. It is warm, tight and dry, so much so 
that one might expect to see fire burst out of it. Its 
form is graceful, its odour pleasant; the whiteness of its 
outside sets off its carmincred middle. There is no im- 
perfection about it. 

El relmoune (the voluptuous) .^— The name given to 
the vulva of a young virgin. 

Ell ass (the primitive). — This is a name applicable to 
every kind of vulva. 

Ez 2;er2;our (the starting) . — The vulva of a very young 
girl, or, as others pretend, of a brunette. 

^ Note of the autograph edition. — All the quaHfi cations given 
in the Arab text to the sexual organs of woman are referring 
to the word "feurdj," which is used as masculine, and is trans' 
lated with vulva and vagina. In order to avoid a fatiguing 
repetition of one word and the same word, the translator has 
used now one, now the other of these expressions, which has 
occasioned the following anomaly: the Arab word "feurdj" is 
always masculine, while of the French words for vulva and 
vagina the first, vulve, is feminine, and the other, vagina, is 
masculine. We must observe here that neither vulva nor vagina 
give exactly the sense of the Arab "feurdj," which designates 
the whole of the organ for copulation of the woman, whilst 
vulva means the outside parts up to the membrane, and vagina 
is the conduit destined for the reception of the virile member 
up to the matrix. Neither of these words, therefore, corre- 
sponds exactly to "feurdj"; that as it was not feasible to use in 
the descriptions a long paraphrase, as "the organ for copula- 
tion in woman," and still less the vulgar latin word cunnus, it 
has seemed more convenient to apply the rhetorical figure called 
synecdoche, viz., to designate the whole by a part, and to use 
in turns the two above mentioned words, but vulva in prefer- 
ence with respect to the outer parts, and vagina when the in- 
terior parts are spoken of, 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 137 

Ech cheukk (the chink). — ^The vulva of a bony, lean 
woman. It is like a chink in a wall, with not a vestige 
of flesh. May God keep us from it! 

Abou tertour (the crested one).^ — Is the name given 
to a vulva furnished with a red comb, like that of a cock, 
which rises at the moment of the enjoyment. 

Abou khochime (the snubnose) .—Is a vulva with thin 
lips and a small tongue.- 

El guenfond (the hedgehog) . — The vulva of the old, 
decrepit woman, dried up with age and with bristly hair. 

El sakouti (the silent one) . — This name has been given 
to the vulva that is noiseless. The member may enter 
it a hundred times a day but it will not say a word, and 
will be content to look on without murmur. 

Ed deukkak (the crusher). — So called from its crush- 
ing movements upon the member. It generally begins to 
push the member, directly it enters, to the right and to 
the left, and to grip it with the matrix, and would, if it 
could, absorb also the two testicles. 

El tseguil (the importunate) . — This is the vulva which 
is never tired of taking in the member. This latter might 
pass a hundred nights with it, and walk in a hundred 
times every night, still that vulva v^^ould not be sated— 
nay, it would want still more, and would not allow the 
member to come out again at all, if it was possible. With 
such a vulva the parts are exchanged; the vulva is the 

1 There is no doubt that the author wanted to designate by 
comb that part of the sexual organs of woman which is called 
clitoris, from the Greek word to tickle. The clitoris is the seat 
of voluptuousness; it lengthens out and hardens when tickled. 

2 The small lips, ornymphs, are spoken of here, which, in 
young girls, are hidden by the larger ones. 

138 The Perfumed Garden 

pursuer, the member the pursued. Luckily it is a rarity, 
and only found in a small number of women, who are 
wild with passion, all on fire, and in flame. 

El fechefache (the watering can). — A vulva with 
which certain women are gifted, and which, in passing 
water, emits from its orifice a sonorously sounding noise. 

El becha (the horror) . — A vulva of such horrible and 
repulsive aspect that its looks alone suffices to soften a 
member which is in erection. It is found in some wo' 
men, and God keep us from it! 

El taleb (the yearning one) . — ^This vagina is met with 
in a few women only. With some it is natural; with 
others it becomes what it is by long abstinence. It is 
burning for a member, and, having got one in its em- 
brace, it refuses to part with it until its fire is extin- 

El hacene (the beautiful) . — This is the vulva which is 
white, plump, in form vaulted like a dome, firm and 
without any deformity. You cannot take your eyes oflf 
it, and to look at it changes a feeble erection into a 
strong one. 

El neuffagh (the swelling one) .-—So called because a 
torpid member coming near it, and rubbing its head 
against it a few times, at once swells and stands upright. 
To the v/oman who has such a one it procures excessive 
pleasure, for, at the moment of the crisis it opens and 
shuts convulsively, like the vulva of a mare. 

Abou djbaha (one with a projection) . — Some women 
have this sort of vulva, which is very large, with, a pubis 
prominent like a projecting, fleshy forehead. 

El ouasa (the vast one). — -A vulva surrounded by a 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — The author used two ex' 
pressions belonging to the law, "el mentloub" and "el taleb," 
signifying the defendant and the plaintiff. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 139 

very large pubis. Women of that build are said to be of 
large vagina, because, although on the approach of the 
member it appears firm and impenetrable to such a de' 
gree that not even a meroud ^ seems likely to be passed 
in, as soon as it feels the friction of its gland against its 
centre it opens wide at once. 

El aride (the large one). — This is the vulva which is 
as wide as it is long; that is to say, fully developed all 
round, from side to side, and from the pubis to the peri- 
neum. It is the most beautiful to look upon. As the 
poet has said: 

"It has the splendid whiteness of a forehead, 
In its dimensions it is Hke the moon, 
The fire that radiates from it is like the sun's. 
And seems to burn the member which approaches; 
. Unless first moistened with saliva the member cannot enter. 
The odour it emits is full of charms." 

It is also said that this name applies to the vagina of 
women who are plump and fat. When such a one crosses 
her thighs one over the other the vulva stands out like 
the head of calf. If she lays it bare it resembles a saa ^ 
for corn placed between her thighs; and, if she walks, it 
is apparent under her clothes by its wavy movement at 
each step. May God, in his goodness and generosity, 
let us enjoy such a vagina! It is of all the most pleas- 
ing, the most celebrated, the most wished for. 

Abou belaoum (the glutton). — The vulva of a vast 

^ Note in the autograph edition. — ^The meroud is a little stick 
or tsylus which the Ahabian women use for blackening tlieir 
eyelids, or for introducing an eye salve. 

^ Note in autograph edition. — The "saa" is a measure for 
cereals, and which will contain, according to the localities in 
which it is used, different quantities, from three to eight decal' 
tries. It is certain that the author in making this comparison 
had in view the round form of the sack containing the grain, 
and not the volume of a "saa." 

140 The Perfumed Garden 

capacity of swallowing. If such a vulva has not been 
able to get to the coitus for some time it fairly engulfs a 
member that then comes near it, without leaving any 
trace of it outside, like as a man who is famished flinga 
himself upon viands that are offered to him and would 
swallow them without mastication. 

El mokaour (the bottomless). — This is the vagina of 
indefinite length, having in consequence, the matrix ly 
ing very far back. It requires a member of the largest 
dimensions; any other could not succeed in rousing its 
amorous sensibilities. 

Abou cheufrine (the two lipped) . — This name is giv- 
en to the amply developed vagina of an excessively stout 
woman. Also to the vagina the lips of which having be- 
come flaccid, owing to weakness, are long and pendulous. 

Abou aungra (the humpbacked) . — This vulva has the 
mount of Venus prominent and hard, standing out like 
the hump on the back of a camel, and reaching down to 
between the thighs like the head of a calf. May God 
let us enjoy such a vulva! Amen! 

El rorbal (the sieve) . — ^This vulva on receiving a mem- 
ber seems to sift it all over, below, right and left, fore 
and aft, until the moment of pleasure arrives. 

El hez2;az (the restless). — When this vagina has re- 
ceived the member it begins to move violently and with- 
out interruption until the member touches the matrix, 
and then knows no repose till it has hastened on the 
enjoyment and finished its work. 

El lezzaz (the unionist). — ^The vagina which, having 
taken in the member, clings to it and pushes itself for- 
ward upon it so closely that, if the thing were possible, 
it would enfold the two testicles. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 141 

El moudd (the accommodating). — This name is ap' 
phed to the vagina of a woman who has felt for a long 
time an ardent wish for coition. In rapture with the 
member it sees, it is glad to second its movements of 
come and go; it offers to the member its matrix by press- 
ing its forward within reach, which is after all, the best 
gift it can offer. Whatever place inside of it the mem' 
ber wants to explore, this vulva will make him welcome 
to, gracefully according to its wish; there is no corner it 
will not help the member to get to. 

When the crisis arrives, and the member is ready to 
ejaculate, it grips its head with matrix and womb, suck- 
ing the last drop of sperm into the matrix. And the 
woman does not feel happy until floods of the spermal 
fluid pour into the recesses of her matrix. 

El mouaine (the assistant) . — ^This vulva is thus named 
because it assists the member to go in and out, to go up 
and down, in short, in all its movements, in such a way 
that if it desires to do a thing, to enter or to retire, to 
move about, etc., the vulva hastens to give it all facilities, 
and answers to its appeal. By this aid the ejaculation is 
facilitated, and the enjoyment heightened; even a 
member that is tardy in ejaculation arrives rapidly at it, 
and soon spurts its sperm. 

El mokeubbeub (the vaulted one) . — ^This is a vulva of 
large size, surmounted by a protuberance, brawny, dry, 
and shaped like a vault, a compact mass of hard flesh 
and gristle. God preserve us from such a one! 

El meusboul (the long one) . — ^This name applies only 
to some vulvas; everyone knows that the vulvas are far 
from being all of the same conformation and aspect. 
This vulva extends from the pubis to the anus. It 

142 The Perfumed Garden 

lengthens out when the woman is lying down or stand- 
ing, and contracts when she is sitting, differing in this 
respect from the vulva of a round shape. It looks like a 
splendid cucumber lying between the thighs.^ With 
some women it shows projecting under light clothing, or 
when they are bending back. 

EI molki (the duelist). — This is the vulva which, on 
the introduction of a member, executes the movement of 
coming and going, pushes itself upon it for fear of its 
retiring before the pleasure arrives. There is no enjoy- 
ment for it but the shock given to its matrix by the mem- 
ber, and it is for this that it projects its matrix to grip 
and suck the member's gland when the ejaculation takes 
place. Certain vulvas, wild with desire and lust, be it 
natural or a consequence of long abstention, throw them- 
selves upon the approaching member, opening the mouth 
like a famished infant to whom the mother offers the 
breast. In the same way this vulva advances and retires 
upon the member to bring it face to face with the matrix 
as if in fear that, unaided, it could not find the same. 

The vulva and the member resemble thus two skilful 
duelists, each time that one of them rushes upon its an- 
tagonist, the latter opposes its shield to parry the blow 
and repulse the assault. The member represents the 
sword, and the matrix the shield. The one who first 
ejaculates the sperm is vanquished; while the one who is 
slowest is the victor; and, assuredly, it is a fine fight! I 
should like thus to fight without stopping to the day of 
my death. 

^ Note, in the autograph edition. — This comparison of the 
vulva to a cucumber cannot seem othenwise than ridiculous to 
us, nevertheless it is often used by the Arabs. It serves to 
designate a vulva gifted with desirable qualities. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 148 
As the poet says: 

I have let them see the effect of a subtle shadow. 
Spinning like an ever busy spider. 
They said to me, "How long will you go on?" 
I answered them, "I will work till I am dead." 

EI mokabeul (ever ready for the fray) . — Thus is 
called the vagina of the woman that is always hot after 
the virile member. Far from being afraid of a rigid and 
hard member, it looks upon it with contempt and asks 
for one that is still stiffer. 

This is the vulva which is not shocked, nor does it 
blush as the others do, when the vestments are lifted up 
that cover it; which, on the contrary, makes the member 
heartily welcome, lets it repose upon its vaulted dome, 
and introduces it into its core as if to swallow it entirely; 
so far, indeed, that the testicles are crying out, "Oh, 
what a misfortune! Our brother has disappeared! We 
are uneasy about him, for he has boldly thrown himself 
into that abyss! He must certainly be foolhardy to pen' 
etrate like a dragon into such a cavern!" The vulva 
hearing those lamentations, and desirous to dispel their 
chagrin, tells them, "Have no fear about this, he is alive, 
and his ears hear your words." Upon which they reply, 
"If what you say is true, O master of the beautiful coun- 
tenance, let him come out, that we may see him." The 
vulva then says, "I shall not let him come out living; not 
till death has struck him down." The two testicles im- 
plore then, "What sin has he com_mitted, that he should 
pay for it with his life? Imprisonment and blows should 
be sufficient punishment." The vagina, "By the exist' 
t.ncz of him who has created the heavens, there is no 
way out of me until he is dead!" Then addressing the 

144 The Perfumed Garden 

member, "Do you hear the words of your two brothers? 
Hasten to show yourself to them, for your absence has 
plunged them into great affliction!" After the ejacula- 
tion, the member returns to them reduced to nothing 
and like a shadow; but they do not know him, saying, 
"Who are you, you wonder of leanness?" "I am your 
brother, and have been ill," says the member; "did you 
not see in what state I was when I entered? I have 
knocked at the doors of all the physicians to get advice. 
But what a prime physician have I found here! He has 
treated my complaint, and cured it without either auscu- 
ltation or examination!" The two testicles answer, "O 
brother of ours, we suffer the same as you, for we are as 
one with you. Why did not God allot us the same 
cure?" Forthwith the sperm fills them and augments 
their volume. They then wish for the same treatment, 
saying, "Oh, hasten to take us to the same physician, 
that he may cure our illness, for he knows all maladies!" 
Here terminates the conversation of the two testicles 
with the member about its disappearance, which made 
them fear that he might have fallen into a silo or pit. 

El harrab (the fugitive). — The vagina which, being 
very tight and short, is hurt by the penetration of a very 
large and stiff member; it tries to escape to the right and 
left. It is thus, people say, with the vagina of most vir- 
gins, which, not yet having made the acquaintance of the 
member and fearful of its approach, tries to get out of 
its way, when it glides in between the thighs to be 

Es sabeur (the resigned). — This is the vulva which, 
having admitted the member, submits patiently to all its 
whims and movements. This vulva is strong enough to 
suffer resignedly the most violent and prolonged coition. 
ïf it wçre assaulted a hundred times it would not be 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 145 

vexed or annoyed; and instead of venting reproaches, it 
would give thanks to God. It will show the same pa- 
tience if it has to do with several members who visit it 

This kind of vagina is found in women of a glowing 
temperament. If they only knew how to do it, they 
would not allow the man to dismount, nor his member 
to retire for a single moment. 

El maoui (the juicy). — The vagina thus named has 
one of the four most abominable defects which can af' 
feet a vagina; nay, the most repulsive of all, for the too 
great abundance of secretions detracts from the pleas- 
ures of coition. This imperfection grows still worse 
when the man by preliminary caresses provokes the issue 
of the moisture. God preserve us from them! Amen. 

EI moseuffah (the barrel one). — ^This kind of vagina 
is not often met with. The defect which distinguishes it 
is sometimes natural, sometimes it is the result of an un- 
skilfully executed operation of circumcision upon the 
woman. ^ It can happen that the operator makes a false 
move with his instrument and injures the two lips, or 
even only one of them. In healing there forms a thick 
scar, which bars the passage, and in order to make the 
vagina accessible to the member, a surgical operation and 
the use of the bistouri will have to be resorted to. 

EI merour (the deep one).- — The vagina which has 
always the mouth open, and the bottom of which is be- 
yond sight. The longest members only can reach it. 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — In certain countries in 
Africa an operation is made upon girls, analogous to the cir- 
cumcision, consisting in the partial excision of the lesser lips of 
the vulva, which attain in that climate sometimes a dispropor- 
tional development. — '(Dictionnaire de Dedecine, Littre et 
Robin, page 306. 

146 The Perfumed Garden 

El addad {the biter) .—The vulva which, when the mem- 
ber has got into it and is burning with passion, opens and 
shuts again upon the same fiercely. It is chiefly when 
the ejaculation is coming that the man feels the head of 
his member bitten by the mouth of the matrix. And 
certainly there is an attractive power in the same when 
it clings, yearning for sperm, to the gland, and draws it 
in as far as it can. If God in his power has decreed 
that the woman shall become pregnant the sperm gets 
concentrated in the matrix, where it is gradually vivified; 
but if, on the contrary, God does not permit the concep- 
tion, the matrix expels the seed, which then runs over 
the vagina. 

El meusass (the sucker). — This is a vagina which in 
its amorous heat in consequence of voluptuous toyings, 
or of long abstinence, begins to suck the member which 
has entered it so forcibly as to deprive it of all its sperm, 
dealing with it like a child draws the breast of the 

The poets have described it in the following verses: 
"She — the woman — shows in turning up her robe 
An object — the vulva — developed full and round. 
In semblance like a cup turned upside down. 
In placing thereupon your hand, you seem to feel 
A well formed bosom, springy, firm, and full. 
In boring iti your lance it gets well bitten. 
And drawn in by a suction, as the breast is by a child 
And after having finished, if you wish to re-commence. 
You'll find it ilaming hot as any furnace." 

Another poet (may God grant all his wishes in Para- 
dise!) has composed on the same theme the following: 
"Like to a man extended on his chest, she — the vulva — fills 

the hand 
which has to be well stretched to cover it. 
The place it occupies is standing forth 
like an unopened bxid of the blossom of a palm tree. 
Assuredly the smoothness of its skin. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 147 

Is like the beardless cheek of adolescence; 

Its conduit is but narrow. 

The entrance to it is not easy, 

And he who essays to get in 

Feels as though he was butting against a coat of mail. 

And at the introduction it emits a sound 

Like to the tearing of a woven stuff. 

The member having filled its cavity, 

Receives the lively welcome of a bite. 

Such as the nipple of the nurse receives 

When placed between the nursling's lips for suction. 

Its lips are burning, 

Like a fire that is lighted. 

And how sweet it is, this fire! 

How delicious for me." 

El 2;enubour (the wasp) . — This kind of vulva is known 
by the strength and roughness of its fur. When the 
member approaches and tries to enter it gets stung by 
the hairs as if by a wasp. 

El harr (the hot one) . — ^This is one of the most praise- 
worthy vulvas. Warmth is in fact very much esteemed 
in a vulva, and it may be said that the intensity of the 
enjoyment afforded by it is in proportion to the heat it 
develops. Poets have praised it in the following verses: 
"The vulva possesses an intrinsic heat; 

Shut in a soHd heart (interior) and pent up breast (matrix). — 

Its fire communicates itself to him that enters it; 

It equals in intensity the fire of love. 

She is as tight as a well'fitting shoe,'- 

Smaller than the circle of the apple of the eye." 

El ladid (the delicious) . — It has the reputation of pro' 
curing an unexampled pleasure, comparable only to the 
one felt by the beasts and birds of prey, and for which 

^ Note of the autograph edition.- — This comparison is some' 
what vulgar for poetry, and may even appear incomprehensible; 
nevertheless it finds its explanation in the fact that the shoes of 
the Arabs are kept fast to the foot by their upper borders being 
narrower than the foot itself, which has to be forced in. 

148 2'he Perfumed Garden 

they fight sanguinary combats. And if such effects are 
produced upon animals, what must they be for man. 
And so it is that all the wars spring from the search of 
the voluptuous pleasure which the vagina procures, and 
which is the highest fortune of this world; it is a part of 
the delights of paradise awarded to us by God as a fore' 
taste of what is waiting for us, namely, delights a thou- 
sand times superior, and above which only the sight of 
the Benevolent (God) is to be placed. 

More names might certainly be found applicable to the 
sexual organs of woman, but the number of those men- 
tioned above appears to me ample. The principal object 
of this work is to collect together all the remarkable and 
attractive matters concerning the coitus, so that he who 
is in trouble may find a conclusion in it, and the man to 
whom erection offers difficulties may be able to look into 
it for a remedy against his weakness. Wise physicians 
have written that people whose members have lost their 
strength, and are afflicted with impotence, should assidu- 
ously read books treating of coition, and study carefully 
the different kind of lovemaking, in order to recover 
their former vigour. A certain means of provoking erec- 
tion is to look at animals in the act of coition. As it is 
not always everywhere possible to see animals whilst in 
the act of copulation, books on the subject of generation 
are indispensable. In every country, large or small, both 
the rich and poor have a taste for this sort of books, 
which may be compared to the stone of philosophy 
transforming common metals into gold. 

It is related (and God penetrates the most obscure 
matters, and he is the most wise!) that once upon a time, 
before the reign of the great Kalif Haroun er Rachid, 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 149 

there lived a buffoon, who was the amusement of wo' 
men, old people and children. His name was Djoaidi.^ 
Many women granted him their favours freely, and he 
was much liked and well received by all. By princes, 
vizirs and caids he was likewise very well treated; in 
general all the world pampered him; at that time, indeed, 
any man that was a buffoon enjoyed the greatest consid- 
eration, for which reason the poet has said: 

"Oh, Time! Of all the dwellers here below 

You only elevate buffoons or fools, 

Or him whose mother was a prostitute, 

Or him whose anus as an inkstand serves,^ 

Or him who from his youth has been a pander; 

Who has no other work but to bring the two sexes together." 

Djoaidi related the following story: 


I was in love with a woman who was all grace and per" 
fection, beautiful of shape, and gifted with all imagin- 
able charms. Her cheeks were like roses, her forehead 
hly white, her lips like coral; she had teeth like pearls, 
and breasts like pomegranates. Her mouth opened round 
like a ring; her tongue seemed to be incrusted with pre- 
cious gems; her eyes, black and finely slit, had the lan- 
gour of slumber, and her voice the sweetness of sugar. 
With her form pleasantly filled out, her flesh was mel- 
low like fresh butter, and pure as the diamond. 

^ "Djoaidi" signifies a man of the people. The root djaa 
points to crisp, naturally curling hair. 

2 Note in the autograph edition. — Paraphrase for a designing 
minion, a giton. It takes its origin from the comparison, very 
common with Arabs, of the pen and the inkstand and the verge 
and the vulva. 

150 The Perfumed Garden 

As to her vulva, it was white, prominent, round as an 
arch; the centre of it was red, and breathed fire, and 
without a trace of humidity; for, sweet to the touch, it 
was quite dry. When she walked it showed in relief like 
a dome or an inverted cup. In reclining it was visible 
between her thighs, looking like a kid couched on a 

This woman was my neighbour. All the others played 
and laughed with me, jested with me, and met my sug' 
gestions with great pleasure. I revelled in their kisses, 
their close embraces and nibblings, and in sucking their 
lips, breasts, and necks. I had coition with all of them, 
except my neighbour, and it was exactly her I wanted to 
possess in preference to all the rest; but instead of being 
kind to me, she avoided me rather. When I contrived 
to take her aside to trifle with her and try to rouse her 
gaiety, and spoke to her of my desires, she recited to me 
the following verses, the sense of which was a mystery 
to me: 

"Among the mountain tops I saw a tent placed firmly. 
Apparent to all eyes high up in mid-air. 
But, oh, the pole that held it up was gone. 
And like a vase without a handle it remained, 
With all its cords undone, its centre sinking in, 
Forming a hollow like that of a kettle." 

Every time I told her of my passion she answered me 
with these verses, which to me were void of meaning, 
and to which I could make no reply, which, however, 
only excited my love all the more. I therefore inquired 
of all those I knew — amongst wise men, philosophers, 
and savants — the meaning, but not one of them could 
solve the riddle for me, so as to satisfy my heat and 
appease my passion. 

Nevertheless I continued my investigations, when at 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 151 

last I heard of a savant named Abou Nouass/ who Hved 
in a faf'ofF country, and who, I was told, was the only 
man capable of solving the enigma. I betook myself to 
him, apprised him of the discourses I had with the wo- 
man, and recited to him the abovcmentioned verses. 

Abou Nouass said to me, "This woman loves you to 
the exclusion of every other man. She is very corpulent 
and plump." I answered, "It is exactly as you say. You 
have given her likeness as if she were before you, ex' 
cepting what you say in respect of her love for me, for, 
until now, she has never given me any proof of it." "She 
has no husband." "This is so," I said. Then added, "I 
have reason to believe that your member is of small di' 
mensions, and such a member cannot give her pleasure 
nor quench her fire; for what she wants is a lover with 
a member like that of an ass. Perhaps it may not be so. 
Tell me the truth about this!" When I had reassured 
him on that point, affirming that my member, which 
began to rise at the expression of his doublings, was 
full-sized, he told me that in that case all difficulties 
would disappear, and explained to me the sense of the 
verses as follows: 

The tent, firmly planted, represents the vulva of grand 
dimension and placed well forward, the mountains, be- 
tween which it rises, are the thighs. The stake which 
supported its centre and has been torn up, means that 
she has no husband, comparing the stake or pole that 
supports the tent to the virile member holding up the 
lips of the vulva. She is like a vase without handle; this 

* The real name of Abou Nouass was Abou Hali Hacene. 
He also had the surname d'el Hakemi. He was born of obscure 
parents towards 135 or 136 of the Hegira, and acquired a great 
reputation as a poet and a philosopher. 

152 The Perfumed Garden 

means if the pail is without a handle to hang it up by it 
is good for nothing, the pail representing the vulva, and 
the handle the verge. The cords are undone and its 
centre is sinking in; that is to say, as the tent without a 
supporting pole caves in at the center, inferior in this 
respect to the vault which remains upright without sup- 
port, so can the woman who has no husband not enjoy 
complete happiness. From the words. It forms a hollow 
like that of a kettle, you may judge how lascivious God 
has made that woman in her comparisons; she likens her 
vulva to a kettle, which serves to prepare the tserid.'^ 
Listen; if the tserid is placed in the kettle, to turn out 
well it must be stirred by means of a medeleuk ^ long 
and solid, whilst the kettle is steadied by the feet and 
hands. Only in that way can it be prepared properly. 
It cannot be done with a small spoon; the cook would 
bum her hands, owing to the shortness of the handle, 
and the dish would not be well prepared. This is the 
symbol of this woman's nature, O Djoaidi. If your 
member has not the dimensions of a respectable mede- 
leuk, serviceable for the good preparation of the tserid, 
it will not give her satisfaction, and, moreover, if you do 
not hold her close to your chest, enlacing her with your 
hands and feet, it is useless to solicit her favours; finally 
if you let her consume herself by her own fire, like the 
bottom of the kettle which gets burnt if the medeleuk is 
not stirred upon it, you will not gratify her desire by 
the result. 

You see now what prevented her from acceeding to 

^ The tserid, or more commonly tserida, is an Arabian dish. 

2 Note in the autograph edition. — Medeleuk, from deleuk, to 
pound, mash. This is a large wooden spoon, corresponding in 
shape and sij;e to a pouch. This latter expression, however, 
being vulgar, has not been employed. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 153 

your wishes; she was afraid that you would not be able 
to quench her flame after having fanned it. 

But what is the name of this woman, O Djoaidi? 

"Fadehat el Djemal (the sunrise of beauty)," I replied. 

''Return to her," said the sage, "and take her these 
verses and your affair will come to a happy issue, please 
God! You will then come back to me, and inform me of 
what will have come to pass between you two." 

I gave my promise, and Abou Nouass recited to me 
the following lines: 

"Have patience now, O Fadehat el Djemal, 

I understand your words, and all shall see how I obey them. 

O you! beloved and cherished by whoever 

Can revel in your charms and glory in them! 

O apple of my eye! You thought I was embarrassed 

About the answer which I had to give you. 

Yes, certainly! It was the love I bore you 

Made me look foolish in the eyes of all you know. 

They thought I was possessed of a demon; 

Called me a Merry Andrew and buffoon. 

For God! What of buffoonery I've got, 

Should it be, that 
No other member is like mine? Here! see it, measure it! 
What woman tastes it falls in love with me, 
In violent love. It is a well known fact 
That you from far may see it Hke a column. 
If it erects itself it lifts my robe and shames me. 
Now take it kindly, put it in your tent, 
Which is between the well-known mountains placed. 
It will be quite at home there, you will find it 
Not softening while inside, but sticking like a nail; 
Take it to form a handle to your vase. 
Come and examine it, and notice well 
How vigorous it is and long in its erection! 
If you but want a proper medeleuk, 
A medeleuk to use between your thighs. 
Take this to stir the centre of your kettle. 
It will do good to you, O mistress mine! 
Your kettle be it plated will be satisfied !'i 

iNote in the autograph edition. — The Arabs have a vulgar 
saying of a man who is not easily satisfied that he is mokeua 
deur, plated. Doubtless it refers in a similar sense to the "vulva. 

154 The Perfumed Garden 

Having learnt these verses by heart, I took my leave 
of Abou Nouass and returned to Fadehat el Djemal. She 
was, as usual, alone. I gave a slight knock at her door; 
she came out at once, beautiful as the rising sun, and 
coming up to me, she said, ''Oh! enemy of God, what 
business has brought you here to me at this time?" 

I answered her, "O my mistress! a business of great 

"Explain yourself, and I will see whether I can help 
you," she said. 

"I shall not speak to you about it until the door is 
locked," I answered. 

"Your boldness to'day is very great," she said. 

And I, "True, O my mistress! boldness is one of my 

She then addressed me thus, "O enemy of yourself! 

you most miserable of your race! If I were to lock the 
door, and you having nothing wherewith to satisfy my 
desires, what should I do with you? face of a Jew!" 

"You will let me share your couch, and grant me 
your favours." 

She began to laugh; and after we had entered |the 
house, she told a slave to lock the house door. As usual, 

1 asked her to respond to my proposals; she then recited 
to me again the above mentioned verses. When she had 
finished I recited to her those which Abou Nouass had 
taught me. 

As I proceeded I saw her move and more moved, I 
observed her giving way, to yawn, to stretch herself, to 
sigh. I knew now I should arrive at the desired result. 
When I had finished my member was in such a state of 
erection that it became like a pillar, still lengthening. 
When Fadehat el Djemal saw it in that condition she 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 155 

precipitated herself upon it, took it into her hands, and 
drew it towards her thighs. I then said, "O apple of my 
eyes! this may not be done here, let us go into your 

She replied, "Leave me alone, O son of a debauched 
woman! Before God! I am losing my sense in seeing 
your member getting longer and longer, and lifting your 
robe. Oh, what a member! I never saw a finer one! Let 
it penetrate into this delicious, plump vulva, which mad- 
dens all who heard it described; for the sake of which so 
many died of love; and of which your superiors and 
masters themselves could not get possession." 

I repeated, "I shall not do it anywhere else than in 
your chamber." 

She answered, "If you do not enter this minute this 
tender vulva I shall die." 

As I still insisted upon repairing to her room, she 
cried, "No, it is quite impossible; I cannot wait so long!" 

I saw in fact her lips tremble, her eyes filling with 
tears. A general tremour ran over her, she changed 
colour, and laid herself down upon her back, baring her 
thighs, the whiteness of which made her flesh appear 
like crystal tinged with carmine. 

Then I examined her vulva — a white cupola with a 
purple centre, soft and charming. It opened like that of 
a mare on the approach of a stallion. 

At that moment she seized my member and kissed it, 
saying, "by the religion of my father it must penetrate 
into my vulva!" and drawing nearer to me she pulled it 
towards her vagina. 

I now hesitated no longer to assist her with my mem' 
ber, and placed it against the entrance to her vulva. As 
soon as the head of my member touched the lips, the 

156 The Perfumed Garden 

whole body of Fedehat el Djemal trembled with excite' 
ment. Sighing and sobbing, she held me pressed to her 

Again I profited by this moment to admire the beau' 
ties of her vulva. It was magnificent, its purple centre 
setting off its whiteness all the more. It was round, and 
without any imperfection; projecting like a splendidly 
curved dome over her belly. In one word, it was a 
masterpiece of creation as fine as could be seen. The 
blessing of God, the best creator, upon it. 

And the woman who possessed this wonder had in 
her time no superior. 

Seeing her then in such transports, trembling like a 
bird, the throat of which is being cut, I pushed my dart 
into her. But thinking she might not be able to take in 
the whole of my member, I had gone about cautiously, 
but she moved her buttocks furiously, saying to me, 
"This is not enough for my contentment." Making a 
strong push, I lodged my member completely in her, 
which made her utter a painful cry, but the moment 
after she moved with greater fury than before. She 
cried, "Do not miss the corners, neither high nor low, 
but above all things do not neglect the centre! The cen- 
tre!" she repeated. "If you feel it coming, let it go into 
my matrix so as to extinguish my fire." Then we moved 
alternately in and out, which was delicious. Our legs 
were interlaced, our muscles unbent, and so we went on 
with kisses and claspings until the crisis came upon us 
simultaneously. We then rested and took breath after 
this mutual conflict. 

I wanted to withdraw my member, but she would not 
consent to this and begged of me not to take it out. I 
acceded to her wish, but a moment later she took it out 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 157 

herself, dried it, and replaced it in her vulva. We re- 
nevv^ed our game, kissing, pressing, and moving in 
rhythm. After a short time, we rose and entered her 
chamber, without having this time accomplished the en' 
joyment. She gave me now a piece of an aromatic root,^ 
which she recommended me to keep in my mouth, as- 
suring me that as long as I had it there my member 
would remain on the alert. Then she asked me to lie 
down, which I did. She mounted upon me, and taking 
my member into her hands, she made it enter entirely 
into her vagina. I was astonished at the vigour of her 
vulva and at the heat emitted from it. The opening of 
her matrix in particular excited my admiration. I never 
had any experience like it; it closely clasped my member 
and pinched the gland. 

With the exception of Fadehat el Djemal no woman 
had until then taken in my member in its full length. 
She was able to do so, I believe, owing to her being very 
plump and corpulent, and her vulva being large and 

Fadehat el Djemal, astride upon me, began to rise and 
descend; she kept crying out, wept, went slower, then 
accelerated her movements again, ceased to move alto' 
gether; when part of my member became visible she 
looked at it, then took it out altogether to examine it 
closely, then plunged it in again until it had disappeared 
completely. So she continued until the enjoyment over- 
came her again. At last, having dismounted from me, 
she now laid herself down, and asked me to get on her. 
I did so, and she introduced my member entirely into 
her vulva. 

We thus continued our caresses, changing our posi' 

1 Probably cinnamon or the root of the cubeb'plant. 

168 The Perfumed Garden 

tion in turns, until night came on. I thought it proper 
to show a wish to go now, but she would not agree to 
this, and I had to give her my word that I would remain. 
I said to myself, "this woman will not let me go at any 
price, but when daylight comes God will advise me." I 
remained with her, and all night long we kept caressing 
each other, and took but scanty rest. 

I counted during that day and night, I accomplished 
twenty-seven times the act of coition, and I became 
afraid that I should never be able to leave the woman's 

Having at last made good my escape, I went to visit 
Abou Nouass again, and informed him of all that had 
happened. He was surprised and stupefied, and the first 
words were ,''0 Djoaidi, you can have neither authority 
nor power over such a woman, and she would make you 
do penance for all the pleasure you have had with other 

However, Fadehat el Djemal proposed to me to be- 
come her legitimate husband, in order to put a stop to 
the vexatious rumours that were circulating about her 
conduct. I, on the other hand, was only on the look 
out for adultery. Asking the advice of Abou Nouass 
about it, he told me, "If you marry Fadehat el Djemal 
you will ruin your health, and God will withdraw his 
protection ^ from you, and the worst of all will be that 
she will cuckold you, for she is insatiable with respect to 
the coitus, and would cover you with shame." And I 
answered him, "Such is the nature of women; they are 
insatiable as far as their vulvas are concerned, and so 
that their lust gets satisfied they do not care whether 

1 The Arab word seteur signifies veil, window'blind, and by 
extension, protection or even shield, buckler. It was in this 
latter sense that the author has used the word here. 

Names given to the Sexual Organs of Women 159 

it be with a buffoon, a negro, a valet, or even with a 
man that is despised and reprobated by society." 

On this occasion Abou Nouass depicted the character 
of women in the following verses: 

"Women are demons, and were born as such; 

No one can trust them, as is known to all; 

If they love a man, it is only out of caprice; 

And he to whom they are most cruel loves them most. 

Beings full of treachery and trickery, I aver 

The man that loves you truly is a lost man; 

He who believes me not can prove my word 

By letting woman's love get hold of him for years! 

If in your own generous mood you have given them 

Your all and everything for years and years, 

They will say afterwards, 'I swear by God! my eyes 

Have never seen a thing he gave me!' 

After you impoverished yourself for their sake. 

Their cry from day to day will be for ever 'Give! 

Give man. Get up and buy and borrow.' ^ 

If they cannot profit by you they'll turn against you; 

They will tell lies of you and calumniate you. 

They do not recoil to use the slave in the master's absence, 

If once their passions are aroused, and they play tricks; 

Assuredly, if once their vulva is in rut. 

They only think of getting in some member in erection. 

Preserve us God! from woman's trickery; 

And of old women in particular. So be it." 

^ Note in the autograph edition. — Literally: "Seized by your 
bounty," a form of speech used to express the attentions which 
men show to women. 



Know, O Vizir (God's blessing be with you!), that the 
sexual organs of the various male animals are not ana' 
logous with the différent natures of the virile members 
which I have mentioned. 

The verges of animals are classed according to the 
species to which they belong, and these species are four 
which I have mentioned. 

1. The verges of animals with hoofs as the horse, 
mule, ass, which verges are of large size} 

El remoul, the colossus. 

El kass,^ the serpent rolled up. 

El fellag,^ the splitter. 

El zellate, the club. 

El heurmak, the indomitable. 

El meunefoukh, the swollen. 

Abou dommar, the one with a head. 

Abou beurnita, the one with a hat. 

El keurkite,* the pointed staff. 

El keuntra, the bridge. 

El rezama, the mallet. 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — Literally, magnificent créa' 

2 The word kass, from the root kass, means to pierce a fe' 
male; in the coitus, enwrapping her hke a serpent. 

3 This name comes from the root felleg, to spht, to divide. 

* Keurkite is the name of a staff with a long, pointed ferule, 
as carried by the Marabouts. In some texts this name is re- 
.placed by kneurite, the Arabian name for lobster, and also for 
à sort of cuttle fish abounding on the African coast. 

The Organs of Generation of Animais 161 

Abou sella, the fighter.^ 

2. The verges of animals which have the kind of feet 
called akhefaf,^ as, for instance, the camel. 

El maloum, the well-known. 

El tonil, the long one. 

Ech cherita, the riband.^ 

El mostakinme, the firm one. 

El heurkal, the swinging one. 

El mokheubbi, the hidden one. 

Ech chaaf, the tuft. 

Tsequil el if aha, the slow-coach. 

3. The verges of animals with split horns, like the 
ox, the sheep, etc. 

El aceub, the nerve. 

El heurbadj, the rod. 

El sonte, the whip. 

Requig ed ras, the small head. 

El tonil, the long one. 

For the ram. 

El aicoub, the nervous. 

And lastly, the members of animals with claws, as the 
lion, fox, dog, and other animals of this species. 
El kedib, the verge. 
El kibouss, the great gland. 
El metemerole, the one that will lengthen. 

^ See note 2 on page 129. 

2 Note in the autograph edition. — Akhefaf has no equivalent 
in French. It is a foot showing rudimentary hoofs or toes united 
at the sole by a thick and callous epidermis, as seen in the camel. 

^ Id. — Cherita means a plaited riband or flat cord. 

* Id. — The only sense which can be found in chaaf is that of 
tuft, frieze, hair in general. 

162 The Perfumed Garden 

It is believed that of all the animals of God's creation 
the lion is the most expert in respect to coition. If he 
meets the lioness he examines her before copulation. He 
will know if she has already been covered by a male. 
When she comes to him he smells her, and if she has 
allowed herself to be crossed by a boar he knows it im^ 
mediately by the odour that animal has left upon her. 
He then smells her urine, and if the examination proves 
unfavourable, he gets into a rage, and begins to lash 
with his tail right and left. Woe to the animal that 
comes at that time near him; it is certain to be torn to 
pieces. He then returns to the lioness, who, seeing that 
he knows all, trembles with terror. He smells again at 
her, utters a roar which makes the mountains shake, and, 
falling upon her, lacerates her back with his claws. He 
even will go so far as to kill her, and then befoul her 
body with his urine. 

It is said that the lion is the most jealous and most 
intelligent of all animals. It is also averred that he is 
generous, and spares him who gets round him by fair 

A man who on meeting a lion uncovers his sexual 
parts causes him to take flight. 

Whoever pronounces before a lion the name of Daniel 
(Hail be to him!)^ also sends him flying, because the 
prophet (Hail be to him!) has enjoined this upon the 
lion in respect to the invocation of his name. There- 
fore, when this name is pronounced, the lion departs 
without doing any harm. Several cases which proves 
this fact are cited. 

1 It is probable that this beUef originates with the sojourn of 
Daniel in the lions' den. 



Know, O Vi2iir (to whom God be good!) that the strat' 
agems of women are numerous and ingenious. Their 
tricks will deceive Satan himself, for God, the Highest, 
has said (Koran, chap, xii., verse 28), that the deceptive 
faculties of women are great, and he has likewise said 
(Koran chap, vi., verse 38), that the stratagems of 
Satan are weak. Comparing the word of God as to the 
ruses of Satan and woman, contained in those two verse, 
it is easy to see how great these latter ones are.^ 


It is related that a man fell in love with a woman of 

great beauty, and possessing all perfections imaginable. 

He had made many advances to her, which were re' 

pulsed; then he had endeavoured to seduce her by rich 

presents, which were likewise declined. He lamented, 

complained, and was prodigal with his money in order 

to conquer her, but to no purpose, and he grew lean as 

a spectre. 

This lasted for some time when he made the acquaint' 
ance of an old woman, whom he took into his confidence, 
complaining bitterly about it. She said to him, "I shall 
help you, please God." 

Forthwith she made her way to the house of the 
woman, in order to get an interview with her; but on 
arriving there the neighbors told her that she could not 
get in, because the house was guarded by a ferocious 

'^ "The nature of woman is such." (Rabelais^ Book iii., chap. 

164 The Perfumed Garden 

bitch, which did not allow anyone to come in or depart, 
and in her malignity always flew at the face of people. 

Hearing this, the old woman rejoiced, and said to her' 
self, "I shall succeed, please God." She then went home, 
and filled a basket with bits of meat. Thus provided she 
returned to the woman's house, and went in. 

The bitch, on seeing her, rose to spring at her; but she 
produced the basket with its contents, and showed it her. 
As soon as the brute saw the viands, it showed its satis' 
faction by the movements of its tail and nostrils. The 
old woman putting down the basket before it, spoke to 
it as follows, "Eat, O my sister. Your absence has been 
painful to me; I did not know what had become of you, 
and I have looked for you a long time. Appease your 

While the animal was eating, and she stroked its back, 
the mistress of the house came to see who was there, and 
was not a little surprised to see the bitch, which would 
never suffer anybody to come near her, so friendly with 
a strange person. She said, "O old woman, how is it 
that you know our dog?" The old woman gave no reply, 
but continued to caress the animal, and utter lamenta' 

Then said the mistress of the house to her, "My heart 
aches to see you thus. Tell me the cause of your sorrow." 

"This bitch," said the woman, "was formerly a woman, 
and my best friend. One fine day she was invited with 
me to a wedding; she put on her best clothes, and 
adorned herself with her finest ornaments. We then 
went together. On our way we were accosted by a 
man, who at her sight was seized with the most violent 
love; but she would not listen to him. Then he offered 
brilliant presents, which she also declined. This man. 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 165 

meeting her some days later, said to her, 'Surrender your- 
self to my passion, or else I shall conjure God to change 
you into a bitch.' She answered, 'Conjure as much as 
you like.' The man then called the maledictions of 
heaven upon that woman, and she was changed into a 
bitch, as you see here." 

At these words the mistress of the house began to cry 
and lament, saying, "O, my mother! I am afraid that I 
shall meet the same fate as this bitch." "Why, what 
have you done," said the old woman. The other an- 
swered, "There is a man v.'ho has loved me since a long 
time, and I have refused to accede to his desires, nor did 
I listen to him, though the saliva was dried up iri his 
mouth by his supplications; and in spite of the large ex.' 
penses he had gone to in order to gain my favour I have 
always answered him that I should not consent, and 
now, O my mother, I am afraid he might call to God to 
curse me." 

"Tell me how to know this man," said the old woman, 
"for fear that you might become like this animal." 

"But how will you be able to find him, and whom 
could I send to him?" 

The old woman answered, "Me, daughter of mine! I 
shall render you this service, and find him." "Make 
haste, O my mother, and see him before he conjures 
God against me." "I shall find him still this day," an- 
swered the old woman, and, please God, you shall meet 
him to-morrow." 

With this, the old woman took her leave, went on 
the same day to the man who had made her his confi- 
dant, and told him of the meeting arranged for the next 

So the next day the mistress of the house went to the 

166 The Perfumed Garden 

old woman, for they had agreed that the rende2;vous 
should take place there. When she arrived at the house 
she waited for some time, but the lover did not come. 
No doubt he had been prevented from making his ap' 
pearance by some matter of importance. 

The old woman reflecting upon this mischance, 
thought to herself, "There is no might nor power but in 
God, the Great." But she could not imagine what might 
have kept him away. Looking at the woman, she saw 
that she was agitated, and it was apparent that she 
wanted coition hotly. She got more and more restless, 
and presently asked, "Why does he not come?" The 
old woman made answer, "O my daughter, some serious 
affair must have interfered, probably necessitating a jour- 
ney. But I shall help you under these circumstances." 
She then put on her melahfa,^ and went to look for the 
young man. But it was to no purpose, as she could not 
get to hear anything about him. 

Still continuing her search, the old woman was think' 
ing, "This woman is at this moment eagerly coveting a 
man. Why not try to'day another young man, who 
might calm her ardour? To-morrow I shall find the right 
one." As she was thus walking and thinking she met a 
young man of very pleasing exterior. She saw at once, 
that he was a fit lover, and likely to help her out of her 
perplexity, and she spoke to him, "O my son, if I were 
to set you in connection with a lady, beautiful, graceful 
and perfect, would you make love to her?" "If your 
words are truth, I would give to you this golden dinar!" 
said he. The old woman, quite enchanted, took the 
money, and conducted him to the house. 

1 The melahfa is a large veil, generally of white cotton web, 
used by women to wrap themselves in, both body and head, 
when they walk out. 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 167 

Now, it so happened that this young man was the hus- 
band of the lady, which the old woman did not know 
till she had brought him, and the way she found it out 
was this: She went first into the house and said to the 
lady, "I have not been able to find the slightest trace of 
your lover; but failing him, I have brought you some- 
body to quench your fire for to-day. We will save the 
other for to-morrow. God has inspired to do so." 

The lady then went to the window to take a look at 
him whom the old woman wanted to bring to her, and, 
getting sight of him, she recognised her husband, just on 
the point of entering the house.^ She did not hesitate, 
but hastily donning her melahfa, she went straight to 
meet him, and striking him in the face, she exclaimed, 
"O! enemy of God and of yourself, what are you doing 
here? You surely came with the intention to commit 
adultery. I have been suspecting you for a long time, 
and waited here every day, while I was sending out the 
old woman to enveigle you to come in. This day I have 
found you out, and denial is of no use. And you always 
told me that you were not a rake! I shall demand a 
divorce this very very day, now I know your conduct!" 

The husband, believing that his wife spoke the truth, 
remained silent and abashed. 

Learn from this the deceitfulness of woman, and what 
she is capable of. 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — ^An analogous situation is 
found in the 'Tales of Boccacio," Tale Six of the Third Day, 
done into verse by La Fontaine, in the story of Richard Minutolo 
(First Book of the Tales). It must be added that the ground- 
work of the Arabian tale is different from Boccaccio's. Observe, 
however, that the means employed by the old woman to gain 
tor the young man the lady's favours is not without analogy to 
those described in Tale Eight of the Fifth Day of the same book. 

168 The Perfumed Garden 


A story is told of a certain woman who was desperately 
in love with one of her neighbours, whose virtue and 
piety were well known. She declared to him her pas' 
sion; but, finding all her advances constantly repulsed, 
in spite of all her wiles, she resolved to have her satiS' 
faction nevertheless, and this is the way she went to 
work her purpose: 

One evening she apprised her negress that she in' 
tended to set a snare for that man, and the negress, by 
her order, left the street door open; then in the middle 
of the night, she called the negress and gave her the fol' 
lowing instructions: "Go and knock with this stone at 
our street door as hard as you can, without taking any 
notice of the cries which I shall utter, or the noise I 
make; as soon as you hear the neighbor opening his 
door, come back and knock the same way at the inner 
door.^ Take care that he does not see you, and come 
in at once if you observe somebody coming." The nc 
gress executed this order punctually. 

Now, the neighbour was by nature a compassionate 
man, always disposed to assist people in distress, and his 
help was never asked in vain. On hearing the noise of 
the blows struck at the door and the cries of his neigh- 
bour, he asked his wife what this might mean, and she 
replied, "It is our neighbour so and so, who is attacked 
in her house by thieves." He went in great haste to her 
aid; but scarcely had he entered the house when the 
negress closed the door upon him. The woman seized 
him, and uttered loud screams. He protested, but the 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — The Arabian houses are 
generally situated in an inner court, which communicates by a 
door with the street, while a second door leads to the rooms. 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 169 

mistress of the house put, without any more ado, this 
condition before him. "If you do not consent to do 
with me so and so, I shall tell that you have come in 
here to violate me, and hence all this noise." ''The will 
of God be done!" said the man, ''nobody can go against 
Him, nor escape from His might." He then tried sundry 
subterfuges in order to escape, but in vain, for the mis- 
tress of the house recommended to scream and make a 
row, which brought a good many people to the spot. 
He saw that his reputation would be compromised if he 
continued his resistance, and surrendered, saying, "Save 
me, and I am ready to satisfy you!" "Go into this 
chamber and close the door behind you," said the lady 
of the house, "if you want to leave this house with hon- 
our, and do not attempt to escape unless you wish those 
people to know that you are the author of all this com- 
motion." When he saw how determined she was to 
have her way, he did as she had told him. She, on her 
part, went out to the neighbors that had come to help 
her, and giving them some kind of explanation, dismissed 
them. They went away condoling with her. 

Left alone, she shut the doors and returned to her 
unwilling lover. She kept him in sequestration for a 
whole week, and only set him free after she had com- 
pletely drained him. 

Learn from this the deceitfulness of women, and what 
they are capable of. 


The story goes that a man, a street porter who was mar' 
ried, had an ass which he employed in his business. His 
wife was very fat and corpulent, and had a very plump. 

170 The Perfumed Garden 

deep, and excessively large vulva. Her husband, on the 
contrary, was furnished with a verge which was both 
little and soft. She simply held him in contempt, in the 
first place on account of his weak member, and then be- 
cause he but rarely fulfilled his conjugal duty. He was, 
in fact not vigorous enough for that work; whilst she, 
burning for the coitus, would never have had enough of 
it, not even if she could have revelled in it day and 
night; in fact, no man could have satisfied her, and she 
would have coped with the whole race of males. If she 
had contrived to lay her hand upon a man of metal she 
would not have allowed him to draw his member out of 
her vulva, no, not for a moment. 

This woman brought every night the ass its fodder. 
As she often kept her husband waiting, he would say 
wh(en she returned: "What made you stay so long?" 
And she answered: ''I have sat myself down by the side 
of the ass, and saw it take its meal; it appeared to be so 
tired that I was sorry for it." 

This went on for some time, and the husband had no 
suspicion of anything being wrong. Moreover, he rC' 
turned home every evening tired with his day's work, 
and went to lie down directly, leaving it to his wife to 
look after the ass. She, however, had become very inti- 
mate with the animal in the following manner (how 
abominable God had made her!). When the time came 
for feeding him she took off his pack-saddle and placed 
it on her own back, buckling the girths round her body. 
Then she took a little of his dung and of his urine, 
mixed them together, and rubbed the entrance of her 
vulva with it. This done, she placed herself on her 
hands and feet within range of the ass, and took posi- 
tion, her vulva facing him. He would approach, smell 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 171 

at her vulva, and thinking to have a beast of burden 
before him, spring upon her. As soon as he was thus 
placed, she seized his member with one of her hands and 
introduced its head into her vulva. The vulva got more 
and more enlarged, so that the member, penetrating lit- 
tle by little, finished with being lodged in its full length, 
and brought on the crisis of the pleasure. 

So the woman took her pleasure with the ass for a 
long time. But one night when her husband had been 
asleep for some time he awoke suddenly, and felt a dc 
sire to caress his wife. Not finding her by his side, he 
rose very softly and went to the stable. What was his 
astonishment when he saw her under the ass, the latter 
working up and down her croup. ''What does this 
mean, O you so-and-so?" he cried. But she quickly dis- 
engaged herself from under the ass, and said, "May God 
curse you for not pitying your ass!" But, come, what 
does all this mean?" the husband repeated. "That," said 
the woman, "when I came and brought his fodder he 
refused to eat; I saw by that how tired he was. I passed 
my hand over his back and his back nearly gave way 
under him. I then thought his pack-saddle was too 
heavy and in order to make sure of it, I tried it on my 
back and found it very heavy. Now I know the reason 
of his excessive fatigue. Believe me, if you want to pre- 
serve your ass, do not work him so hard." 

Learn from this the deceitfulness of women, and what 
they are capable of. 

The following story is told of two women who inhabited 
the same house. The husband of one of them had a 
m-ember long, thick and hard; while the husband of the 
other had, on the contrary, that organ little, insignificant 

172 The Perfumed Garden 

and soft. The first one rose always pleasant and smil' 
ing; the other one got up in the morning in tears and 

One day the two women were together, and spoke of 
their husbands. 

The first one said, "I live in the greatest happiness. 
My bed is a couch of bliss. When my husband and I 
are together in it it is the witness of our supreme pleas- 
ure; of our kisses and embraces, of our joys and amorous 
sighs. When my husband's member is in my vulva it 
stops it up completely; it stretches itself out until it 
touches the bottom of my vagina, and it does not take 
its leave until it has visited every corner — threshold, ves' 
tibule, ceiling and centre. When the crisis arrived it 
takes its position in the very centre of the vagina, which 
it floods with tears. It is in this way we quench our fire 
and appease our passion." 

The second answered, 'T live in the greatest grief; our 
bed is a bed of misery, and our coition is a union of 
fatigue and trouble, of hate and malediction. When my 
husband's member enters my vulva there is a space left 
open, and it is so short it cannot touch the bottom. 
When it is in erection it is twisted all ways, and cannot 
procure any pleasure. Feeble and meagre, it can scarcely 
ejaculate a drop, and its service gives no pleasure to any 

Such was the almost daily conversation which the two 
women had together. 

It happened, however, that the woman who had so 
much cause for complaint thought in her heart how de- 
lightful it would be to commit adultery with the other 
one's husband. She thought to herself, "It must be 
brought about, if it be only for once." Then she watch- 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 173 

ed her opportunity until her husband had to be absent 
for a night from home. 

In the evening she made preparation to get her project 
carried out, and perfumed herself with sweet scents and 
essences. When the night was advanced to about a third 
of its duration, she entered noiselessly the chamber in 
which the other woman and her husband were sleeping, 
and groped her way to their couch. Finding that there 
was a free space between them, she slipped in. There 
was scant room, but each of the spouses thought it was 
the pressure of the other, and gave way a little; and so 
she contrived to glide between them. She then quietly 
waited until the other woman was m a profound sleep, 
and then, approaching the husband, she brought her 
flesh in contact with his. He awoke, and smelling the 
perfumed odours which she exhaled, he was in erection 
at once. He drew her towards him, but she said in a 
low voice, 'Xet me go to sleep!" He answered, ''Be 
quiet, and let me do! The children will not hear any 
thing!" She then pressed close up to him, so as to get 
him farther away from his wife, and said, ''Do as you 
like, but do not waken the children, who are close by." 
She took these precautions for fear that his vwife should 
wake up. 

The man, however, roused by the odour of the per' 
fumes, drew her ardently towards himself. She was 
plump and mellow, and her vulva projecting. He 
mounted upon her and said, "Take it (the member) in 
your hand, as usual!" Se took it, and was astonished at 
its size and magnificence, then introduced it into her 

The man, however, observed that his member had 
been taken in entirely, which he had never been able to 

174 The Perfumed Garden 

do with his wife. The woman, on her part, found that 
she had never received such a benefit from her husband. 

The man quite surprised. He worked his will upon 
her a second and third time, but his astonishment only 
increased. At last he got off her, and stretched himself 
along side her. 

As soon as the woman found that he was asleep, she 
slipped out, left the chamber, and returned to her own. 

In the morning, the husband, on rising, said to his 
wife, "Your embraces have never seemed so sweet to me 
as last night, and I never breathed such sweet perfumes 
as those you exhaled." "What embraces and what per' 
fumes are you speaking of? asked the wife. "I have not 
a particle of perfume in the house." She called him 
storyteller, and assured him that he must have been 
dreaming. He then began to consider whether he might 
not have deceived himself, and agreed with his wife that 
he must actually have dreamed it all. 

Appreciate, after this, the deceitfulness of women, 
and what they are capable of. 


It is related that a man, after having lived for some time 
in a country to which he had gone, became desirous of 
getting married. He addressed himself to an old woman 
who had experience in such matters, asking her whether 
she could find him a wife, and who replied, "I can find 
you a girl gifted with great beauty and perfect in shape 
and comeliness. She will surely suit you, for, besides 
having these qualities, she is virtuous and pure. Only 
mark, her business occupies her all the day, but during 
the night she will be yours completely. It is for this 
reason she keeps herself reserved, as she apprehends that 
a husband might not agree to this." 

On the Deceits and Treackenes of Women 175 

The man replied, "This girl need not be afraid. I, too 
am not at Hberty during the day, and I only want her 
for the night." 

He then asked her in marriage. The old woman 
brought her to him, and he liked her. From that time 
they lived together, observing the conditions under 
which they had come together. 

This man had an intimate friend whom he introduced 
to the old woman who had arranged his marriage ac- 
cording to the conditions mentioned, and which friend 
had requested the man to ask her to do him the same 
service. They went to the old woman and solicited her 
assistance in the matter. "This is a very easy matter," 
she said. "I know a girl of great beauty, who will dis- 
sipate your heaviest troubles. Only the business she is 
carrying on keeps her at work all night, but she will be 
your friend all day long." "This shall be no hindrance," 
replied the friend. She then brought the young girl to 
him. He was well pleased with her, and married her 
on the conditions agreed upon. 

But before long the two friends found out that the 
two wives which the old harridan had procured for them 
were only one woman. 

Appreciate, after this, the deceitfulness of women, and 
what they are capable of. 


It is related that a married woman of the name of Bahia 
(splendid beauty) had a lover whose relations to her 
were soon a mystery to no one, for which reason she had 

176 The Perfumed Garden 

to leave him. Her absence affected him to that de- 
gree that he fell ill, because he could not see her. 

One day he went to see one of his friends, and said to 
him, "Oh, my brother! an ungovernable desire has seized 
me, and I can wait no more. Could you accompany me 
on a visit I am going to pay to Bahia, the well'beloved 
of my heart?" The friend declared himself willing. 

The next day they mounted their horses; and after a 
journey of two days, they arrived near the place where 
Bahia dwelt. There they stopped. The lover said to his 
friend, ''Go and see the people that live about here, and 
ask for their hospitality, but take good care not to di' 
vulge our intentions, and try in particular to find the 
servant-girl of Bahia, to whom you can say that I am 
here, and whom you will charge with the message to her 
mistress that I would like to see her." He then de- 
scribed the servant-maid to him. 

The friend went, met the servant, and told her all 
that was necessary. She went at once to Bahia, and 
repeated to her what she had been told. 

Bahia sent to the friend the message, "Inform him 
who sent you that the meeting will take place to-night, 
near such and such a tree, at such and such an hour." 

Returning to the lover, the friend communicated to 
him the decision of Bahia about the rende2;vous. 

At that hour that had been fixed, the two friends were 
near to the tree. They had not to wait long for Bahia. 
As soon as her lover saw her coming, he rushed to meet 
her, kissed her, pressed her to his heart, and they began 
to embrace and caress each other. 

The lover said to her, "O Bahia, is there no way to 
enable us to pass the night together without rousing the 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 177 

suspicions of your husband?" She answered, ''Oh, be- 
fore God! if it will give you pleasure, the means to con' 
trive this are not wanting." "Hasten," said her lover, 
"to let me know how it may be done." She then asked 
him, "Your friend here, is he devoted to you, and intelli' 
gent?" He answered, "Yes." She then rose, took off her 
garments, and handed them to the friend, who gave her 
his, in which she then dressed herself; then she made the 
friend put on her clothes. The lover said, surprised 
"What are you going to do?" "Be silent," she answered, 
and, addressing herself to the friend, she gave him the 
following explanations: "Go to my house and lie down 
in my bed. After a third part of the night is passed, my 
husband will come to you and ask you for the pot into 
which they milk the camels. You will then take up the 
vase, but you must keep it in your hands until he takes it 
from you. This is our usual way. Then he will go and 
return with the pot filled with milk, and say to you, 
'Here is the pot!' But you must not take it from him 
until he has repeated the words. Then take it out of his 
hands, or let him put it on the ground himself. After 
that, you will not see anything more of him till the 
morning. After the pot has been put on the ground, and 
my husband is gone, drink the third part of the milk, 
and replace the pot on the ground." 

The friend went, observed all these recommendations, 
, and when the husband returned with the pot full of 
milk he did not take it out of his hands until he had said 
twice, "Here is the pot!" Unfortunately he withdrew his 
hands when the husband was going to set it down, the 
latter thinking the pot was being held, let it go, and the 
vase fell upon the ground and was broken. The hus' 
band, in the belief that he was speaking to his wife, ex- 

178 The Perfumed Garden 

claimed, "What have you been thinking of?" and beat 
him with it till it broke; then took another, and contin' 
ued to batter him stroke on stroke enough to break his 
back. The mother and sister of Bahia came running to 
the spot to tear her from his hands. He had fainted. 
Luckily they succeeded in getting the husband away. 

The mother of Bahia soon came back, and talked to 
him so long that he was fairly sick of her talk; but he 
could do nothing but be silent and weep. At last she 
finished, saying, ''Have confidence in God, and obey 
your husband. As for your lover, he cannot come now 
to see and console you, but I will send in your sister to 
keep you company." And so she went away. 

She did send, indeed, the sister of Bahia, who began 
to console her and curse him who had beaten her. He 
felt his heart warming towards her, for he had seen that 
she was of resplendant beauty, endowed with all perfec- 
tions, and like the full moon in the night. He placed 
his hand over her mouth, so as to prevent her from 
speaking and said to her, O lady! I am not what you 
think. Your sister Bahia is at present with her lover, 
and I have run into danger to do her a service. Will 
you not take me under your protection? If you de- 
nounce me, your sister will be covered with shame; as 
for me, I have done my part, but may the evil fall back 
upon you!" 

The young girl then began to tremble like a sheaf, in 
thinking of the consequences of her sister's doings, and 
then beginning to laugh, surrendered herself to the 
friend who proved himself so true. They passed the re' 
mainder of the night in bliss, kisses, embraces, and mu- 
tual enjoyment. He found her the best of the best. In 
her arms he forgot the beating he had received, and they 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 179 

did not cease to play, toy, and make love till daybreak. 

He then returned to his companion. Bahia asked him 
how he had fared, and he said to her, ''Ask your sister. 
By my faith! she knows it all! Only know, that we have 
passed the night in mutual pleasures, kissing and enjoy 
ing ourselves until now." 

Then they changed clothes again, each one taking his 
own, and the friend told Bahia all the particulars of 
what had happened to him. 

Appreciate, after this, the deceitfulness of women, and 
what they are capable of. 


A story is told of a man who had studied all the ruses 
and all the stratagems invented by women for the decep' 
tion of men, and pretended that no woman could dupe 

A woman of great beauty, and full of charms, got to 
heart of her conceit. She, therefore, prepared for him in 
the medjeles ^ a collation, in which several kinds of wine 
figured, and nothing was wanting in the way of rare and 
choice viands. Then she sent for him, and invited him 
to come and see her. As she was famed for her great 
beauty and the rare perfection of her person, she had 
roused his desires, and he hastened to avail himself of 
her invitation. 

She was dressed in her finest garments, and exhaled 
the choicest perfumes, and assuredly whoever had thus 
seen her would have been troubled in his mind. And 
thus, when he was admitted into her presence, he was 

^ The medjeles, from djeleuss, to sit down, is the name of a 
saloon in Arab houses, generally situated on the ground floor. 
It is the vestibule, the saloon for visitors. 

180 The Perfumed Garden 

fascinated by her charms, and plunged into admiration 
by her marvellous beauty. 

This woman, however, appeared to be preoccupied on 
account of her husband, and allowed it not to be seen 
that she was afraid of his coming back from one minute 
to another. It must be mentioned that this husband was 
very proud, very jealous, and very violent, and would 
not have hesitated to shed the blood of anyone whom 
he would have found prowling about his house. What 
would he have done, and, with much more reason, to 
the man whom he might have found inside? 

While the lady and he, who flattered himself that he 
should possess her, were amusing themselves in the 
medjeles, a knock at the house-door filled the lover with 
fear and trouble, particularly when the lady cried, "This 
is my husband, who is returning." All in a tremble, she 
hid him in a closet, which was in the room, shut the 
door upon him, and left the key in the medjeles; then 
she opened the house-door. 

Her husband, for it was he, saw, on entering, the wine 
and all the preparations that had been made. Surprised, 
he asked what it meant. ''It means what you see," she 
answered. "But for whom is all this?" he asked. 'Tt is 
for my lover whom I have here." "And where is he?" 
"In this closet," she said, pointing with her finger to the 
place where the suffered was confined. 

At these words the husband started. He rose and went 
to the closet, but found it locked. "Where is the kay?" 
he siad. She answered, "Here!" throwing it to him. But 
as he was putting it into the lock she burst out laughing 
uproariously. He turned towards her, and said, "What 
are you laughing at?" "I laugh," she answered, "at the 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 181 

weakness of your judgment, and your want of reason 
and reflection. Oh, you man without sense, do you think 
that if I had in reaUty a lover, and had admitted him 
into this room I should have told you that he was here 
and where he was hidden? This is certainly not likely. 
I had no other thought than to offer you a collation on 
your return, and wanted only to have a joke with you in 
doing as I did. If I had a lover I should certainly not 
have made you my confidant." 

The husband left the key in the lock of the closet 
without having turned it and returned to the table, and 
said, 'True! I rose; but I had not the sHghtest doubt 
about the sincerity of your words." Then they ate and 
drank together, and then made love. 

The man in the closet had to stop there until the hus- 
band went out. Then the lady went to set him free, and 
found him quite undone and in a bad state. When he 
came out after having escaped an imminent peril, she 
said to him, "Well, you wiseacre, who know so well the 
stratagems of women, of all those you know is there one 
to equal this?" He made answer, "I am now convinced 
that your stratagems are countless." 

Appreciate after this the deceits of woment and what 
they are capable of. 


It is related that a woman who was married to a violent 
and brutal man, having her lover with her on the unex- 
pected arrival of her husband, who was returning from a 
journey, had only just time to hide him under the bed. 
She was compelled to let him remain in this dangerous 

182 The Perfumed Garden 

and unpleasant position, knowing of no expedient which 
might enable him to leave the house. In her restlessness 
she went to and fro, and having gone to the street'door, 
one of her neighbours, a woman, saw that she was in 
trouble, and asked her the reason of it. She told her 
what had happened. The other one then said, ''Return 
into the house. I will charge myself with the safety of 
your lover, and I promise you that he shall come out 
unharmed." Then the woman re-entered her house. 

Her neighbour was not long in joining her, and they 
together prepared the meal, and then they all sat down 
to eat and drink. The woman sat facing her husband, 
and the neighbour opposite the bed. The latter began 
to tell stories and anecdotes about the tricks of women; 
and the lover under the bed heard all that was going on. 

Pursuing her tales, the neighbour told the following 
one: "A married woman had a lover, whom she loved 
tenderly, and by whom she was loved the same. One 
day the lover came to see her in the absence of her hus- 
band. But the latter happened to return home unex- 
pectedly just as they were together. The woman, know- 
ing of no better place, hid her lover under the bed, then 
sat down by her husband, who was taking some refresh- 
ment, and joked and played with him. Amongst other 
playful games, she covered her husband's eyes with a 
napkin, and her lover took this opportunity to come out 
from under the bed and escape unobserved." 

The wife understood at once how to profit by this 
tale; taking a napkin and covering the eyes of her hus- 
band with it, she said, ''Then it was by means of this 
ruse that the lover was helped out of his dilemma." And 
the lover, taking the opportunity, succeeded in making 
good his escape unobserved by the husband. Uncon- 

On the Deceits and Treacheries of Women 183 

scious of what had happened this latter laughed at the 
story, and his merriment was still increased by the last 
words of his wife and by her action. 

Appreciate after this the deceitfulness of women, and 
what they are capable of. 

It is related that a man had a wife who was endowed 
with all beauties and perfections; she was like the full 
moon. He was very jealous for he knew all the deceits 
and ways of women. He therefore never left the house 
without carefully locking the street door and the door 
of the terrace. 

One day his wife asked him "Why do you do this?" 
"Because I know your ruses and fashions,'' said he. "It 
is not by acting in this way that you will be safe," she 
said, "for certainly, if a woman has set her heart upon a 
thing, all precautions are useless." "Well, well!" replied 
he; "it is always wise to keep the doors locked." She 
said, "Not at all; the fastenings of the doors are of no 
avail, if a woman once thinks of doing what you mean." 
"Well, then," said he, "if you can do it, you may!" 

As soon as her husband had gone out, the woman 
mounted to the top of the house, and, through a small 
hole, which she made into the wall, she looked to see 
what was going on outside. At that moment a young 
man was passing by, who, looking up, saw her, and de- 
sired to possess her. He said to her, "How can I come 
to you?" She told him that it could not be done, and 
that the doors were locked. "How could we get to- 
gether"; he asked. She answered him, "I shall make a 
hole in the house door. Be on the watch for my hus- 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — Compare this with the tale 
of La Fontaine (Book ii.): "One does not Think of Every- 
thing," reproduced from the "Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles." 

184 The Perfumed Garden 

band when he returns tO'night, and after he shall have 
passed m, put your member through the hole, and it 
shall meet my vulva, and you can then do my business; 
any other way it is impossible/' 

The young man watched until he had seen the hus' 
band return from evening prayer; and after he had en- 
tered the house and locked the door, he went to find the 
hole made in it, and passed his member through it. The 
wife also was on the look out. Her husband had barely 
got into the house, and was still in the courtyard, when 
she went to the door, and appearing to satisfy herself 
that the door was fast, she placed her vulva to the mem- 
ber, which appeared through the hole, and introduced 
it into her vagina. 

This done, she extinguished the lamp, and called to 
her husband, asking him to bring a light. He asked, 
"Why?" "I have dropped a trinket and cannot find it," 
she answered. He then came with a lamp. The mem- 
ber of the young man was still in her vulva, and at that 
moment ejaculating. "Where did you drop your trin- 
ket?" asked the husband. "Here!" she cried, drawing 
back and leaving the verge of her lover naked and cov 
ered with sperm. 

At this sight the husband fell to the ground with rage. 
When he was up again, the wife said to him: "Well! and 
those precautions?" "God grant me repentance!" he said. 

After this appreciate the deceits of women, and what 
they are capable of. 

Women have such a number of ruses at their disposal, 
that they cannot be counted. They would succeed to 
make an elephant mount upon the back of an ant, and 
do work there. How detestable in their doings God has 
made them! 



Know, O Vizir (to whom God be good), that the infor- 
mation contained in this chapter is of the greatest utiHty, 
and it is only in this book that such can be found. As- 
suredly to know things is better than to be ignorant of 
them. Knowledge may be bad, but ignorance is more so. 

The knowledge in question concerns matters unknown 
to you, and relating to women. 

There was once a woman, named Moarbeda, who was 
considered to be the most knowing and wisest person of 
her time. She was a philosopher. One day various 
queries were put to her, and among them the following, 
which I shall give here with her answers. 

"In what part of a woman's body does her mind re- 
side?'' — ''Between her thighs." 

''And where her enjoyment?" — "In the same place." 

"And where the love of men and the hatred of them?" 

■ — "In the vulva," she said; adding, "to the men whom 
we love we give our vulva, and we refuse it to him we 
hate. We share our property with the man we love, and 
are content with whatever little he may be able to bring 
to us; if he has no fortune, we take him as he is. But, 
on the other hand, we keep at a distance him whom we 
hate, were he to offer us wealth and riches." 

"Where, in a woman, are located knowledge, love and 
taste?" — "In the eye, the heart, and the vulva." 

186 The Perfumed Garden 

When asked for her explanations on this subject she 
repHed: "Knowledge dwells in the eye, for it is the 
woman's eye that appreciates the beauty of form and of 
appearance. By the medium of this organ love penetrates 
into the heart and dwells in it, and enslaves it. A wo' 
man in love pursues the object of its love, and lays snares 
for it. If she succeed, there will be an encounter between 
the beloved one and her vulva. The vulva tastes him 
and then knows his sweet or bitter flavour. It is in fact, 
the vulva which knows how to distinguish by tasting 
the good from the bad." 

"Which virile members are preferred by women? 
What women are most eager for the coitus and which 
are those who detest it? Which are the men preferred 
by women, and which are those whom they abominate?" 
— She answered, "Not all women have the same conform 
mation of vulva, and they also differ in their manner of 
making love, and in their love for and their aversion to 
things. The same disparities are existing in men, both 
with regard to their organs and their tastes. A woman 
of plump form and with as hallow uterus will look out 
for a member which is both short and thick, which will 
completely fill her vagina, without touching the bottom 
of it; a long and large member would not suit her. A 
woman with a deep lying uterus, and consequently a 
long vagina, only yearns for a member which is long and 
thick and of ample proportions, and thus fills her vagina 
in its whole extension; she will despise the man with a 
slender member, for he could never satisfy her in coi' 

"The following distinctions exist in the temperaments 
of women: The billious, the melancholy, the sanguine, 
the phlegmatic, and the mixed. Those with a billious or 

Observations useful for Men and Women 187 

melancholy temperament are not much given to the coi- 
tus, and like it only with men of the same disposition. 
Those who are sanguine or phlegmatic love coition to 
excess, and if they encounter a member, they would 
never let it leave their vulva if they could help it. With 
these also it is only men of their own temperament who 
can satisfy them, and if such a woman were married to 
a billious or melancholy man, they should lead a sorry 
life together. As regards mixed temperaments, they ex' 
hibit neither a marked predilection for, nor aversion 
against the coitus. 

"It has been observed that under all circumstances 
little women love the coitus more and evince a stronger 
affection for the virile member than women of a large 
si2;e. Only long and vigorous members suit them: in 
them they find the delight of their existence and of their 

"There are also women who love the coitus only on 
the edge of their vulva, and when a man lying upon 
them wants to get his member into the vagina, they take 
it out with the hand and place its gland between the 
lips of the vulva. 

"I have reason to believe that this is only the case 
with young girls or with women not used to men. I 
pray God to preserve us from such, or from women for 
whom it is an impossibility to give themselves up to 

"There are women who will do their husband's be- 
hests, and will satisfy them and give them voluptuous 

^ Note in the autograph edition. — This is a parenthesis intro- 
duced by the author in the discourse of Moarbeda, giving vent 
to his indignation. This paragraph, the preceding one, and the 
two that follow, are not to be found in some of the Arab 
texts, and on close examination we are convinced that they are 

188 The Perfumed Garden 

pleasure by coition, only if compelled by blows and ill- 
treatment. Some people ascribe this conduct to the aver' 
sion they feel either against coition or against the hus' 
band; but this is not so; it is simply a question of tem' 

"There are also women who do not care for coition 
because all their ideas turn upon the grandeurs, personal 
honours, ambitious hopes, or business'cares of the world. 
With others this indifference springs, as it may be, from 
purity of the heart, or from jealousy, or from a pro- 
nounced tendency of their souls towards another world, 
or lastly from past violent sorrows. Furthermore, the 
pleasures which they feel in coition depend not alone 
upon the size of the member, but also upon the particu' 
lar conformation of their own natural pars. Amongst 
those the vulva called from its form el morteba, the 
square one, and el mortafa, the projecting, is remark' 
able. This vulva has the peculiarity of projecting all 
round when the woman is standing up and closes her 
thighs. It burns for the coitus, its slit is narrow, and it 
is also called el keulihimi, the pressed one. The woman 
who has such a one likes only large members, and they 
must not let her wait long for the crisis. But this is a 
general characteristic of women. 

"As to the desire of men for coition, I must say that 
they are also addicted to it more or less according to 
their different temperaments, five in number,^ like the 
women's, with the difference that the hankering of the 

"What are the faults of women?" Moarbeda replied 
to this question, "The worst of women is she who imme- 

1 Note in. the autograph edition. — The text says four, the 
author, no doubt, not taking the mixed temperament into ac' 
count. It has been considered right to make this slight modi- 
fication in the translation. 

Observations useful for Men and Women 189 

woman after the member is stronger than that of a man 
after a vulva." 

diately cries out loud as soon as her husband wants to 
touch the smallest amount of her property for his neces- 
sities. In the same line stands she who divulges matters 
which her husband wants to be kept secret." — "Are 
there any more?" she is asked. She adds, "The woman 
of a jealous disposition and the woman who raises her 
voice so as to drown that of her husband; she who dis- 
seminates scandal; the woman that scowls, the one who 
is always burning to let men see her beauty, and cannot 
stay at home; and with respect to this last let me add 
that a woman who laughs much, and is constantly seen 
at the street door, may be taken to be an arrant pros- 

"Bad also are those women who mind other people's 
affairs; those who are always complaining; those who 
steal things belonging to their husbands; those of a dis- 
agreeable and imperious temper; those who are not grate- 
ful for kindness received; those that will not share the 
conjugal couch, or who incommode their husbands, by 
the uncomfortable positions they take in it; those who 
are inclined to deceit, treachery, calumny and ruse. 

"Then there are still women who are unlucky in what- 
ever they undertake; those who are always inchned to 
blame and censure; those who invite their husbands to 
fulfil their conjugal duty only when it is convenient for 
them; those that make noises in bed; and lastly those who 
are shameless, without intelligence, tattlers and curious. 

"Here you have the worst specimens amongst v/o- 



Know, O Vizir (to whom God be Good!), that the 
causes which tend to develop the passion for coition are 
six in number: the fire of an ardent lover, the super' 
abundance of sperm, the proximity of the loved person 
whose possession is eagerly desired, the beauty of the 
face, exciting viands, and contact. 

Know also, that the causes of the pleasure in cohabita' 
tion, and the conditions of the enjoyment are numerous, 
but that the principal and best ones are: the heat of the 
vulva; the narrowness, dryness, and sweet exhalation of 
the same. If any one of these conditions is absent, there 
is at the same time something wanting in the voluptuous 
enjoyment. But if the vagina unites the required qualifi' 
cations, the enjoyment is complete. In fact, a moist 
vulva relaxes the nerves, a cold one robs the member of 
all its vigour, and bad exhalations from the vagina de' 
tract greatly from the pleasure, as is also the case if the 
latter is very wide. 

The acme of enjoyment, which is produced by the 
abundance and impetuous ejaculation of the sperm, dc' 
pends upon one circumstance, and this is, that the vulva 
is furnished with a suctiou'pump (orifice of the uterus), 
which will clasp the virile member, and suck up the 
sperm with an irresistible force. The member once 
seized by the orifice, the lover is powerless to retain the 

Enjoyment in the Act of Generation 19 i 

sperm, for the orifice will not relax its hold until it has 
extracted every drop of sperm, and certainly if the crisis 
arrives before this gripping of the gland takes place, the 
pleasure of the ejaculation will not be complete. 

Know that there are eight things which give strength 
to any favour the ejaculation. These are: bodily health, 
the absence of all care and worry, an unembarrassed 
mind, natural gaiety of spirit, good nourishment, wealth, 
the variety of the faces of women, and their complexions. 

If you want to acquire strength for the coitus, take 
fruit of the mastic-tree (derou),^ pound them and mac- 
erate them with oil and honey; then drink of the liquid 
first thing in the morning: you will thus become vigor' 
ous for the coitus, and there will be abundance of sperm 

The same result will be obtained by rubbing the virile 
member and the vulva with gall from the jackel. This 
rubbing stimulates those parts and increases their vigour. 

A savant of the name of Djelinouss ^ has said: "He 
who feels that he is weak for coition should drink before 
going to bed a glassful of very thick honey and eat 
twenty almonds and one hundred grains of the pine 
tree. He must follow this regime for three days. He 
may also pound onion-seed, sift it and mix it afterwards 
with honey, stirring the mixture well, and take of this 
mixture while still fasting." 

^ The mastic is a tree with many branches, the fruit of which 
are little red berries, which get black when they ripen. There 
is an oil extracted from them, which is reputed to have the 
property of strengthening and hardening the flesh. 

2 The savant in question was Galien, also called Galenos, 
meaning sweet in Greek. The name was given him in his youth 
on account of his extreme pleasantness; and from this is derived 
the Arab name Djelinouss. 

192 The Pet' fumed Garden 

A man who would wish to acquire vigour for coition 
may Hkewise melt down fat from the hump of a camel, 
and rub his member with it just before the act; it will 
then perform wonders, and the woman will praise it. 

If you would make the enjoyment still more voluptu- 
ous masticate a little cubeb'pepper or cardamon-grains of 
the large species; put a certain quantity of it upon the 
head of your member, and then go to work. This will 
procure for you, as well as for the woman, a matchless 
enjoyment. The ointment from the balm of Judea or of 
Mecca ^ produces a similar eifect. 

If you would make yourself very strong for the coitus, 
pound very carefully pyrether ^ together with ginger,^ 
mix them while pounding with ointment of lilac,* then 
rub with this compound your abdomen, the testicles, and 
the verge. This will make you ardent for the coitus. 

You will likewise predispose yourself for cohabitation, 
sensibly increase the volume of your sperm, gain in' 
creased vigour for the action, and procure for yourself 
extraordinary erections, by eating of chrysocolla ° the 

^ Note in the autograph edition. — Amy ris gileadensis, or the 
Canadian pine. 

2 Idem. — Anthémis pyrethrum. 

3 Zeundjebil, the amomum zingiber. 

* The ointment here mentioned is undoubtedly composed of 
fat or oil and lilac leaves, mixed and pounded. These leaves 
are held to be tonic and astringent, and the capsules produced 
by the shrub give an extract which serves as a febrifuge. 

5 The chrysocolla is a substance used when soldering metals, 
and gold in particular, and which in all probability is bOTax. 
The word tinkal, as the raw borax is called in India, is very 
hke the Arab name teunkar. As to the name chrysocolla, it is 
derived from the Greek words for gold and glue, viz., gold'glue. 

Enjoyment in the Act of Generation 193 

size of a mustard'grain.^ The excitement resulting from 
the use of this nostrum is unparalleled, and all your 
qualifications for the coitus will be increased. 

If you wish the woman to be inspired with a great 
desire to cohabit with you, take a little of cubebs, pyr' 
ether, ginger and cinnamon, which you will have to 
masticate just before joining her; then moisten your 
member with your saliva and do her business for her. 
From that moment she will have such an affection for 
you that she can scarcely be a moment without you. 

The virile member rubbed with ass's milk, will become 
uncommonly strong and vigorous. 

Green peas, boiled carefully with onions, and powd' 
ered with cinnamon, ginger and cardamoms, well pound' 
ed, create for the consumer considerable amorous passion 
and strength for the coitus. 

1 By tile expression of "the size of a mustard grain" the Arabs 
mean a very minute quantity. 

Observations in the autograph edition upon the notes one and 
two. — The translator might easily have been misled by the texts 
before him, for three texts were found to say, "by eating chryso- 
colla and mustard grain." This latter substance is exciting 
enough to seem deserving of recommendation for the purpose. 
Several texts have besides instead of teunkar, the word takra, 
which is, according to Abel er Rezeug, synonymous with fer- 
bioune, and signifies the powdered fruit of veratrum sabadilla, 
a corrosive and dangerous medicine. Ferbioune is also used for 



Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that wise physi' 
dans have plunged into this sea of difficulties to very 
little purpose. Each one has looked at the matter with 
his own point of view, and in the end the question has 
been left in the dark. 

Amongst the causes which determine the sterility of 
women may be taken the obstruction in the uterus by 
clots of blood, the accumulation of water,^ the want of 
or defective sperm of the man, organic malformation of 
in women that are very corpulent, so that their uterus 
stagnation of the courses and the corruption of the men' 
strual fluid, and the habitual presence of wind in the 
uterus. Other savants attribute the sterility of women 
to the action of spirits and spells. Sterility is common 
in women that are very corpulent, so that their uteurs 
gets compressed and cannot conceive, not being able to 
take up the sperm, especially if the husband's member is 
short and his testicles are very fat; in such a case the act 
of copulation can only be imperfectly completed. 

One of the remedies against sterility consists of the 
marrow from the hump of a camel, which the woman 

1 There is reason to believe that the author is speaking here 
of so'called "whites," which occasions protuberances in the 
genital organs of women. 

Description of the Uterus of Sterile Women 195 

spreads on a piece of linen, and rubs her sexual parts 
with it, after having been purified subsequently to her 
courses. To complete the cure, she takes some fruits of 
the plant called jackal's grapes,^ squee2;es the juice out of 
them into a vase, and then adds a little vinegar; of this 
medicine she drinks fasting for seven days, during which 
time her husband will take care to have copulation with 
her. • ^ ■ i^'M 

The woman may besides pound a small quantity of 
sesame'grain and mix its juice with a bean's weight of 
sandarach ^ powder; of this mixture she drinks during 
three days after her periods; she is then fit to receive 
her husband's embraces. 

The first of these beverages is to be taken separately, 
and in the first instance; after this the second, which 
will have a salutary eflFect, if so it pleases the Almighty 

There is still another remedy. A mixture is made of 
nitre, gall from a sheep or a cow, a small quantity of the 
plant named el meusk,^ and of the grains of that plant. 
The woman saturates a plug of soft wool with this mix' 
ture, and rubs her vulva with it after menstruation; she 
then receives the caresses of her husband, and, with the 
will of God the Highest, will become pregnant. 

1 The jackal's'grape, also called foxgrape and meuknina, is 
simply the black nightshade (solanum nigrum). This name has 
been translated erroneously bear's'grape (uva ursi), which is 
nothing but the arbute tree, which furnishes an anodyne. 

2 Note in the autograph edition. — Sandarach, siemikh el ah' 
meur, red arsenic. Dictionary of Kazimirski. 

3 The word meusk used by the author designates a plant, and 
signifies also musk. The plant is no doubt the tuberose, called 
in Arabic meusk el roumi, the musk of the Christian. 



Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!) that the medi- 
cines which will bring on abortion, and the ejection of 
the foetus, are innumerable. But I shall speak of those 
to you which I have proved, and therefore acknowledge 
as good, so that everybody may learn what may benefit 
and what may do harm. 

I shall in the first place speak of the madder-root^ A 
small quantity of this substance freshly gathered, or even 
dried, but in the latter case bruised and moistened at the 
time when it is to be used, vitiates the virile sperm or 
kills the foetus, bringing abortion on and provoking the 
menstruation when introduced in the woman's vagina. 
The same end may be obtained by means of a decoction 
of the same plant taken fasting by the woman, and used 
at the same time by an external application to moisten 
the vagina. 

Fumigation with the smoke of burnt cabbage seeds 
cause abortion, if the woman introduces the vapour into 
her vagina by means of a tube or reed. 

I now come to alum. This substance, powdered, and 
introduced into the vagina, or sprinkled on the verge be- 
fore coition, prevents the woman from conceiving by ob- 
structing the arrival of the sperm in the uterus; for it has 
the property of drying up and contracting the vagina. 

1 Certain texts have araoua, which would mean the buphtal- 
mum silvestram; but there is reason to believe that it is madder- 
root which is meant, as according to the work of Abd er Rezeug 
el Djcsairi this is an abortive. 

Concerning Medicines which provoke Abortion 197 

But the too frequent use of it will make the woman 
barren and annihilate all her capability of conception. 

The man who at the moment of copulation coats his 
member with tar/ deprives his sperm of its generative 
faculty. This is the most powerful of all applications, 
and if a woman during her pregnancy introduces some 
of the substance repeatedly into her vagina, she will be 
sterile, and the child will be born dead. 

The woman who drinks the weight of a mitskal of 
laurel water, with a little pepper, will cause her courses 
to ilow again, and clear her uterus from the clots of 
blood which sometimes lodge there. If she makes use of 
this medicine when she is already pregnant, the embryo 
will be expelled; and taken after confinement, this medi- 
cine has the property of causing the expulsion from the 
matrix of all deleterious matter and of the after-birth. 

The woman who drinks an infusion of coarse cinna- 
mon ^ mixed with red myrth, and then introduces into 
her vagina a plug of wool saturated with the mixture, 
kills the foetus and provokes its expulsion, with the will 
of God the Highest! 

If the foetus dies in the womb, a decoction of yellow 
wall-flowers in water will cause the expulsion of the 
same, with the will of God the Highest! 

All the above enumerated medicines are efficacious 
and their effect is certain. 

^ The Arabs have known since a long period the vegetable 
tar, guetrane, and, in fact the French name for it has been 
derived from their language. They obtain it by distillation in 
rough furnaces from, the wood of the resinous trees found in 
their country, the pine and the cedar. 

2 Note in the autograph edition. — The common name of cin- 
namon is keurfa. Dar sini is the name of an inferior quality. 



Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!) that there are 
men whose sperm is vitiated by the inborn coldness of 
their nature, by diseases of their organs,^ by purulent 
discharges, and by fevers. There are also men with the 
urinary canal in their verge deviating owing to a down' 
ward curve; the result of such conformation is that the 
seminal liquid cannot be ejected in a straight direction, 
but falls downward.^ 

Other men have the member too short and too small 
to reach the neck of the matrix, or their bladder is ulcer' 
ated or they are affected by other infirmities, which pre' 
vent them from coition. 

Finally, there are men who arrive quicker at the crisis 
than the women, in consequence of which the two emis- 
sions are not simultaneous; there is in such cases no 

All these circumstances serve to explain the absence 
of conception in women; but the principal cause of all 
is the shortness of the virile member. 

As another cause of impotence may be regarded the 
sudden transmission from hot to cold, and vice versa, 
and a great number of analogous reasons. 

3 Note in the autograph edition. — The word seulss signifies 
more particularly the emission of the urine or diabetes; but 
in the present case it seems to be appHed to genital-urinary 
maladies in general. 

2 This abnormity is called hyposadias. Where, on the con- 
trary, the opening of the urethra is turned upwards it bears the 
name of epispadias. 

Concerning Medicines tvhieh provoke Abortion 199 

Men whose impotence is due either to the corruption 
of their sperm owing to their cold nature, or to maladies 
of the organs, or to discharges or fevers and similar ills, 
or to their excessive promptness in ejaculation, can be 
cured. They should eat stimulant pastry containing 
honey, ginger, pyrether, syrup of vinegar, hellebore, 
garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamoms,^ sparrows' ton- 
gues,^ Chinese cinnamon, long pepper, and other spices. 
He will be cured by using them. 

As to the other afFlictions which we have indicated — 
the curvature of the urethra, the small dimensions of the 
virile member, ulcers on the bladder, and the other in- 
firmities which are adverse to coition— God only can 
cure them. 

^ Cardamom, already mentioned, is a very aromatic medicinal 
seed which comes from Italy, and is used in the preparation of 
theriac. It is the fruit of several kinds of the amomum tree, and 
especially of the amomum cardamomum. 

- Sparrow's tongue, stallena panerina, sparrow-wort. 

Observations in the autograph edition. — We are not of that 
opinion. The sparrow's tongue, as above, seems to be nothing 
else than the seed of the ash tree. (See the dictionaries of 
Kazimirski and Beaussier, and the book on medicines of Abd 
er Rezeug.) 



Know, O Vi2;ir (God be good to you!), that impotence 
arises from three causes: 

Firstly, from the tying of aiguillettes. '^ 

Secondly, from a feeble and relaxed constitution. 

And thirdly, from too premature ejaculation. 

To cure the tying of aigullettes you must take ga' 
langa,^ cinnamon from Mecca, cloves, Indian cachou,^ 
nutmeg, Indian cubebs, sparrow-wort,* cinnamon, Per' 
sian pepper, Indian thistle,-^ cardamoms,*' pyrether, laurel' 
seed, and gillyflowers. All these ingredients must be 
pounded together carefully, and one drinks of it as 
much as one can, morning and night, in broth, particu' 
larly in pigeon broth; fowl broth may, however, be sub' 

1 It happens sometimes at the encounter of a man and woman 
that the former, though burning with desire, cannot accompHsh 
the act of coition, owing to the state of inertia resisting all in- 
citement to which his member is reduced. It is then said of 
him that his aiguillette (needle) is tied. 

2 The galanga is an Indian root. There are two kinds: the 
galanga major and the galanga minor. 

3 The cachou, from the Indian catche, or the Brazilian cajou, 
is a vegetable substance which comes to us from India. 

Observation in the autograph edition. — Certain texts have it, 
Indian tartar or Indian harehar. It cannot be exactly determined 
to what substances these two names belong. 

4 See Note 2, page 199. 

f' This is the thistle which grows in the West Indies. Taken 
as a decoction, this plant acts as a pectoral and an aperient. 

Observation in the autograph edition. — The texts which have 
been consulted give as the name of the plant, the use of which 
is recommended, chelass el heundi, a name for which an Eng- 
lish equivalent could not be found. 

8 See Note 1, page 199. 

Undoing of Aiguillettes 201 

stituted just as well. Water is to be drunk before and 
after taking it. The compound may likewise be taken 
with money, which is the best method, and gives the 
best results. 

The man whose ejaculation is too precipitate must 
take nutmeg and incense (oliban)^ mixed together with 

If the impotence arises from weakness, the following 
ingredients are to be taken in honey: viz., pyrether, net- 
tle-seed,^ a Httle spurge (or cevadille), ginger, cinnamon 
of Mecca, and cardamon. This preparation will cause 
the weakness to disappear and effect the cure, with the 
permission of God the Highest! 

I can warrant the efficacy of all these preparations, 
the virtue of which has been tested. 

The impossibility of performing the coitus, owing to 
the absence of stiffness in the member, is also due to 
other causes. It will happen, for instance, that a man 
with his verge in erection will find it getting flaccid just 
when he is on the point of introducing it between the 
thighs of the woman. He thinks this is impotence, while 
it is simply the result, may be, of an exaggerated respect 
for the woman, may be of a misplaced bashfulness, may 
be because one has observed something disagreeable, or 
on account of an unpleasant odour; finally, owing to a 
feeling of jealousy, inspired by the thought that the 
w^oman is no longer a virgin, and has sensed the pleasure 
of other men. 

1 Oliban is mentioned in the Journal Asiatique, in connection 
with the Greek fire and gunpowder, by Messrs. Reynaud and 

2 Nettle-seed is considered by the Arabs as a remedy against 
the inflammation of the urethral canal. 





Know, O Vi2;ir (God be good to you!), that this chapter 
which treats of the si2;e of the virile member, is of the 
first importance both for men and women. For the men, 
because from a large and vigorous member there spring 
the affection and love of the women; for the women, be' 
cause it is by such members that their amorous passions 
get appeased, and the greatest pleasure is procured for 
them. This is evident from the fact that many men, 
solely by reason of their insignificant member, are, as far 
as the coition is concerned, objects of aversion to the 
women, who likewise entertain the same sentiment with 
regard to those whose members are soft, nerveless, and 
relaxed. Their whole happiness consists in the use of 
robust and strong members. 

A man, therefore, with a small member, who wants to 
make it grand or fortify it for the coitus, must rub it be- 
fore the copulation with tepid water, until it gets red and 
extended by the blood flowing into it, in consequence of 
the heat; he must then anoint it with a mixture of honey 
and ginger, rubbing it in sedulously. Then let him join 
the woman; he will procure for her such pleasure that 
she objects to him getting off her again. 

Another remedy consists in a compound made of a 
moderate quantity of pepper, lavender, galanga, and 
musk, reduced to powder, sifted and mixed up with 
honey and preserved ginger. The member, after having 

Prescriptions for Increasing Small Members. 203 

been first washed in warm water, is then vigorously 
rubbed with the mixture; it will then grow large and 
brawny, and afford to the woman a marvellous feeling 
of voluptuousness. 

A third remedy is the following: wash the member in 
warm water until it becomes red, and enters into erec 
tion. Then take a piece of soft leather, upon which 
spread hot pitch, and envelop the member with it. It 
will not be long before the member raises its head, 
trembling with passion. The leather is to be left on 
until the pitch grows cold, and the member is again in a 
state of repose. This operation, several times repeated, 
will have the effect of making the member strong and 

A fourth remedy is based upon the use made of 
leeches, but only of such as live in water (sic) . You put 
as many of them into a bottle as can be got in, and then 
fill it up with oil. Then expose the bottle to the sun, 
until the heat of the same has effected a complete mix' 
ture. Then, with the fluid thus obtained the member is 
to be rubbed several consecutive days, and it will, by 
being thus treated, become of a good size and of full 

For another procedure I will here note the use of an 
ass's member. Procure one and boil it, together with 
onions and a large quantity of corn. With this dish feed 
fowls, which you eat afterwards. One can also macerate 
the ass's verge with oil, and use the fluid thus obtained 
afterwards for anointing one's member with, it, and 
drinking of it. 

Another way is to bruise leeches with oil, and rub the 
verge with this ointment; or, if it is preferred, the leeches 

204 The Perfumed Garden 

may be put into a bottle, and, thus enclosed, buried in a 
warm dunghill until they are dissolved into a coherent 
mass and form a sort of liniment, which is used for re- 
peatedly anointing the member. The member is certain 
to greatly benefit by this. 

One may likewise take rosin and wax, mixed with 
tubipore,^ asphodel,^ and cobbler's glue,^ with which 
mixture rub the member, and the result will be that its 
dimensions will be enlarged. 

The eflFicacy of all these remedies is well known, and 
I have tested them. 

1 The tubipore is a calcareous polypus composed of cylindrical 
tubes, and forming round masses, often of great size, in the sea. 
Its medical properties are much doubted. 

Observations in the autograph edition. — This substance is 
called in certain texts deum el akhouine, and is, according to 
the book of the physician Abd'cr-Rezeug, the juice of a plant 
called chiane, alias hei el aleum; the juice goes also by the 
name deum et tsabane. We have ascertained that hei el aleum 
signifies also the sempervivum (a name given to a kind of house 
leek, and the literal translation of deum et tsabane is dragon's 
blood. This is all the information we could gather. 

2 The asphodel (daffodil) is a plant with Hlaceous flowers, 
coming from Italy. There is a yellow and a white kind. 

Observation in the autograph edition. — Boureouk signifies 
also borax and nitre. 

^ The glue used by the Mussulman cobblers to glue their 
leather is made of a single substance, the spleen of cattle or 
sheep, which they call tihal. 

Note in the autograph edition. — The only text which gives 
this passage calls this substance annzeronte or annezeronte, the 
rosin of the sarcocollus, which was credited with the property 
to make the flesh firm and heal wounds. 





Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that bad exhak' 
tions from the vulva and of the armpits are, as also a 
wide vagina, the greatest of evils. 

If a woman wants this bad odour to disappear she 
must pound red myrrh, then sift it, and knead this pow 
der with myrtle'water,^ and rub her sexual parts with 
this wash. All disagreeable emanation will disappear 
from her vulva. 

Another remedy is obtained by pounding lavender, 
and kneading it afterwards with musk'rose-water. SatU' 
rate a piece of wollen-stufF with it, and rub the vulva 
with the same until it is hot. The bad smell will be 
removed by this. 

If a woman intends to contract her vagina, she has 
only to dissolve alum in water, and wash her sexual parts 
with the solution, which may be made still more effica- 
cious by the addition of a little bark of the walnut'tree, 
the latter substance being very astringent. 

Another remedy to be mentioned is the following, 
which is well known for its efficacy: Boil well in water 
carobs (locusts),^ freed from their kernels, and bark of 

1 The author designates here, under the name of ass, the 
myrtus communis of Linuaeus; the more usual name is rcund, 
which serves also tQ designate the laurel tree. 

? The çar<3b is the ff^t of ^^ locust-tteç, a weil'known tr«€, 
the flowçrs of which, emit a penetrating odour like that of the 
virile sperm. Th© fruit is conside:red to have aperient and 
pectoral properties, and the leaves are astringent, . . 

206 The Perfumed Garden 

the pomegrante tree. The woman takes a sitz bath in 
the decoction thus obtained, and which must be as hot 
as she can bear it; when the bath gets cold, it must be 
warmed and used again, and this immersion is to be re- 
peated several times. The same result may be obtained 
by fumigating the vulva with cow-dung. 

To do away with the bad smell of the armpits, one 
takes antimony ^ and mastic, which are to be pounded 
together, and to be put with water into an earthen vase. 
The mixture is then rubbed against the sides of the vase 
until it turns red; when it is ready for use rub it into the 
armpits, and the bad smell will be removed. It must be 
used repeatedly until a radical cure is effected. 

The same result may be arrived at by pounding tO' 
gether antimony (hadida) and mastic, setting the mix- 
ture afterwards into a stove over a low fire, until it is 
of the consistency of bread, and rubbing the residue 
with a stone until the pellicle, which will have formed, 
is removed. Then rub it into the armpits, and you may 
be sure that the bad smell will soon be gone. 

1 Note in the autograph edition.— The texts, which were con- 
sulted, name the substance in question hadida, by which name 
goes the oxide of copper of commeric, which, exposed to the 
action of fire, pulverised, and mixed with gall-nut, is used for 
dyeing the hair black. 



Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that the certain 
indications of pregnancy are the following: the dryness 
of the vulva immediately after the coitus, the inclination 
to stretch herself, accesses of somnolency, heavy and 
profound sleep, the frequent contraction of the opening 
of the vulva to such an extent that not even a meroud 
could penetrate, the nipples of the breast become darker, 
and lastly, the most certain of all the marks is the cessa' 
tion of the menstruation. 

If the woman remains always in good health from the 
time that her pregnancy is certain, if she preserves the 
good looks of her face and a clear complexion, if she 
does not become freckled, then it may be taken as a sign 
that the child will be a boy. 

The red colour off the nipples also point to a child of 
the male sex. The strong development of the breasts, 
and bleeding from the nose, if fit comes from the right 
nostril,^ are signs of the same purport. 

The signs pointing to the conception of a child of the 
female sex are numerous. I will name them here: frc' 
quent indisposition during pregnancy, pale complexion, 

1 The right side is considered by Mussulmans as the side of 
good augury. See the Koran, chap. Ivi., verse 26. 

208 The Perfumed Garden 

sp.ots and freckles, pains in the matrix, frequent night- 
mares, blackness of the nipples, a heavy feeling on the 
left side, nasal hemorrhage on the same side. 

If there is any doubt about the pregnancy, let the 
woman drink, on going to bed, honey-water, and if she 
has a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, it is a proof 
that she is with child. If the right side feels heavier 
than the left one, it will be a boy. If the breasts are 
swelling with milk, this is similarly a sign that the child 
she is bearing will be of the male sex. 

I have received this information from savants, and all 
the indications are positive and tested. 



Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that this chapter 
contains the most useful instructions — how to increase 
the intensity of the coitus — and that the latter part is 
profitable to read for an old man as well as for the man 
in his best years and for the young man. 

The Cheikh, who gives good advice to the creatures 
of God the Great! he the sage, the savant, the first of 
the men of his time, speaks as follows on this subject; 
listen then to his words. 

He who makes it a practice to eat every day fasting 
the yolks of eggs, without the white part, will find in 
this ailment an energetic stimulant for the coitus. The 
same is the case with the man who during three days 
eats of the same mixed with onions. 

He who boils asparagus,^ and then fries them in fat, 

^ Note in th-e autograph edition. — The Arab text has heiloun. 
The medical dictionary of Abd el Reseug says about heiloun: 
"Helioun and in placing the ia (in) more forward, making it 
heiloun, is in the medical, but not in the general sense, aspara- 
gus." So we have adopted this meaning, in preference to boiled 
meal as translated, and which meaning we could not find, al- 
though we searched carefully for it in the Arab books. 

210 The Perfumed Garden 

and then pours upon them the yolks of eggs with pound- 
ed condiments and eats every day of this dish, will grow 
very strong for the coitus, and find in it a stimulant for 
his amorous desires. 

He who peels onions, puts them into a saucepan, with 
condiments and aromatic substances, and fries the mix- 
ture with oil and yolk of eggs, will acquire a surpassing 
and invaluable vigour for the coitus, if he will partake 
of this dish for several days. 

Camel's milk mixed with honey and taken regularly 
develops a vigour for copulation which is unaccountable, 
and causes the virile member to be on the alert night 
and day. 

He who for several days makes his meals upon eggs 
boiled with myrrh, coarse cinnamon, and pepper, will 
find his vigour with respect to coition and erections 
greatly increased. He will have a feeling as though his 
member would never return to a state of repose. 

A man who would wish to copulate during a whole 
night, and whose desire, having come on suddenly, will 
not allow him to prepare himself and follow the regimen 
just mentioned, may have recourse to the following 
recipe. He must get a great number of eggs, so that he 
may eat to surfeit, and fry them with fresh fat and but- 
ter; when done he immerses them in honey, working the 
whole mass well together. He must eat of them as much 
as possible with a little bread, and he may be certain that 
for the whole night his member will not give him any 

On this subject the following verses have been com- 
posed: — 

Conclusion 211 

"The member of Abou el Heiloukh has remained erect 

For thirty days without a break, because he did eat onions. 

Abou el Heidja has deflowered ^ in one night 

Once eighty virgins, and he did not eat nor drink between. 

Because he'd surfeited himself first with chick'peas. 

And had drunk camel's milk with honey mixed. 

Mimoun, the negro, never ceased to spend his sperm, while he 

For fifty days without a truce the game was working. 

How proud he was to finish such a task! 

For ten days more he worked it,^ nor was he yet surfeited. 

But all this time he ate but yolk of eggs and bread." ^ 

The deeds of Abou el Heiloukh Abou el Heidja, and 
Mimoun, just cited, have been justly praised, and their 
history is truly marvelous. So I will make you acquainted 
with it, please God, and thus complete the signal services 
which this work is designed to render to humanity. 


The Cheikh, the protector of religion (God, the Highest, 
be good to him!) records that there lived once in remote 
antiquity an illustrous King, who had numerous armies 
and immense riches. 

This King had seven daughters remarkable for their 
beauty and perfections. These seven had been born one 
after another, without any male infant between them. 

The Kings of the time wanted them in marriage, but 

^ The text says, Abou el Heidja deflowered eighty virgins 
straight, that is to say, from the front in the natural way. 

Observations in the autograph edition. — The texts, which we 
have consulted, say "entirely." 

2 "Depuys luy Aristoteles," etc. Rabelais, Book iii., chap. 27. 

^ Note. in the autograph edition. — It is to be observed that in 
these verses, as similarly in all the other verses which appear in 
the work, the line is al^vays broken at the hemistitch, and not 
at the verse, as the Arab language admits in the verse two quite 
distinct parts, which are, in theory, equal in rhythm. 

212 The Perfumed Garden 

they refused to be married. They wore men's clothing, 
rode on magnificent horses covered with gold-embroid' 
ered trappings, knew how to handle the sword and the 
spear, and bore men down in single combat. Each of 
them possessed a splendid palace with the servants and 
slaves necessary for the service for the preparation of 
meat and drink, and other necessities of the kind. 

Whenever a marriagcoffer for one of them was pre 
sented to the King, he never failed to consult with her 
about it; but they always answered, ''That shall never be."' 

Different conclusions were drawn from these refusals; 
some in a good sense, some in a bad one. 

For a long time no positive information could be gath- 
ered of the reasons for this conduct, and the daughters 
preserved in acting in the same manner until the death 
of their father. Then the oldest of them was called upon 
to succeed him, and receives the oath of fidelity from all 
his subjects. This accession to the throne resounded 
through all the countries. 

The name of the eldest sister was Fouzel Djemal (the 
flower of beauty); the second was called Soltana el 
Agmar (the queen of moons); the third, Bediaat el 
Djemal (the incomparable in beauty); the fourth, Quar- 
da (the rose) ; the fifth, Mahmouda (the praiseworthy) ; 
the sixth, Kamela (the perfect); and, finally, the sev' 
enth, Zohra (the beauty) . 

Zohra, the youngest, was at the same time the most 
intelHgent and judicious. 

She was passionately fond of the chase, and one day as 
she was riding through the fields she met on her way a 
cavalier, who saluted her, and she returned his salute; 
she had some twenty men in her service with her. The 

Conclusion 213 

cavalier thought it was the voice of a woman he had 
heard, but as Zohra's face was covered by a flap of her 
haik, he was not certain, and said to himself, '1 would 
like to know whether this is a woman or a man." He 
asked one of the princes's servants, who dissipated his 
doubts. Approaching Zohra, he then conversed pleasant- 
ly with her till they made a halt for breakfast. He sat 
down near her to partake of the repast. 

Disappointing the hopes of the cavalier, the princess 
did not uncover her face, and, pleading that she was 
fasting, ate nothing. He could not help admiring secret- 
ly her hand, the gracefulness of her waist, and the amor- 
our expression of her eyes. His heart was seized with a 
violent love. 

The following conversation took place between them: 
The Cavalier: "Is your heart insensible for friendship?" 
Zohra: "It is not proper for a man to feel friendship 
for a woman; for if their hearts once incline towards 
each other, libidinous desires will soon invade them, and 
with Satan enticing them to do wrong, their fall is soon 
known by everyone." 

The Cavalier: "It is not so, when their affection is true 
and their intercourse pure without infidelity or treachery." 
Zohra: "If a woman gives way to the affection she 
feels for a man, she becomes an object of slander for the 
whole world, and of general contempt, whence nothing 
arises but trouble and regrets." 

The Cavalier: "But our love will remain secret, and 
in this retired spot, which may serve us as our place of 

^The haik is a long piece of a light and white material, 
generally of wool or silk, with which the Arabs envelop body 
and head, and over which they wear the burnous. 

214 The Perfumed Garden 

meeting, we shall have intercourse together unknown to 

Zohra: "That may not be. Besides, it could not so 
easily be done, we should soon be suspected, and the 
eyes of the whole world would be turned upon us." 

The Cavalier: ''But love, love is the source of life. 
The happiness, that is, the meeting, the embraces, the 
caresses of lovers. The sacrifice of the fortune, and even 
of the life for your love." 

Zohra: "These words are impregnated with love, and 
your smile is seductive, but you would do better to re- 
frain from similar conversation." 

The Cavalier: "Your word is emerald and your coun' 
sels are sincere. But love has now taken root in my 
heart, and no one is able to tear it out. If you drive me 
from you I shall assuredly die." 

Zohra: "For all that you must return to your place 
and I to mine. If it pleases God we shall meet again."^ 

They then separated, bidding each other adieu, and 
returned each of them to their dwelling. 

The cavalier's name was Abou el Heidja. His father, 
Kheiroun, was a great merchant and immensely rich, 
whose habitation stood isolated beyond the estate of the 
princess, a day's journey distant from her castle. Abou 
el Heidja returned home, could not rest, and put on again 
his teneur^ when the night fell, took a black turban, and 
buckled his sword on under his teneur. Then he mount' 
ed his horse, and, accompanied by his favorite, negro. 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — ^The greater part of this 
dialogue is written in rhymed prose. 

2 The teneur is a woolen vestment used by Orientals to keep 
off the cold on their journeys. They are generally old vestment» 
which are used on such occasions aad thus called. 

Conclusion 215 

Mimoun, rode away secretly under cover of the night. 

They travelled all night without stopping until, on the 
approach of daylight the dawn came upon them in sight 
of Zohra's castle. They then made a halt among the 
hills, and entered with horses into a cavern which they 
found there. 

Abou el Heidja left the negro in charge of the horses, 
and went in the direction of the castle, in order to ex' 
amine its approaches; he found it surrounded by a very 
high wall. Not being able to get into it, he retired to 
some distance to watch those who came out. But the 
whole day passed away and he saw no one come out. 

After sunset he sat himself down at the entrance of 
the cavern and kept watch until midnight; then sleep 
overcame him. 

He was lying asleep with his head on Mimoun's knee, 
when the latter suddenly awakened him. "What is it?" 
he asked. "O my master," said Mimoun, "I have heard 
some noise in the cavern, and I saw the glimmer of a 
light." He rose at once, and looking attentively, he per' 
ceived indeed a light, toward which he went, and which 
guided him to a recess in the cavern. Having ordered 
the negro to wait for him while he was going to find out 
where it proceeded from he took his sabre and penetrat- 
ed deeper into the cavern. He discovered a subterran- 
ean vault, into which he descended. 

The road to it was nearly impracticable, on account of 
the stones which encumbered it. He contrived, however, 
after much trouble to reach a kind of crevice, through 
which the light shone which he had perceived. Looking 
through it, he saw the princess Zohra, surrounded by 
about a hundred virgins. They were in a magnificent 

216 The Perfumed Garden 

palace dug out in the heart of the mountain, splendidly 
furnished and resplendent with gold everywhere. The 
maidens were eating and drinking and enjoying the 
pleasures of the table. 

Abou el Heidja said to himself, "Alas! I have no com' 
panion to assist me at this difficult moment." Under the 
influence of this reflection, he returned to his servant, 
Mimoun, and said to him, "Go to my brother before 
God,^ Abou el Heiloukh, and tell him to come here to 
me as quickly as he can." The servant forthwith mount' 
ed upon his horse, and rode through the remainder of 
the night. Of all his friends, Abou el Heiloukh was the 
one whom Abou el Heidja liked best; he was the son of 
the Vizir. This young man and Abou el Heidja and the 
negro, Mimoun, passed as the three strongest and most 
fearless men of their time, and no one ever succeeded in 
overcoming them in combat. 

When the negro Mimoun came to his master's friend, 
and had told him what had happened, the latter said, 
"Certainly, we belong to God and shall return to him." 
Then he took his sabre, mounted his horse, and taking 
his favourite negro with him, he made his way, with 
Mimoun, to the cavern. 

Abou el Heidja came out to meet him and bid him 
welcome, and having informed him of the love he bore 
to Zohra, he told him of his resolution to penetrate for' 
cibly into the palace, of the circumstances under which 
he had taken refuge in the cavern, and the marvellous 
scene he had witnessed while there. Abou el Heiloukh 
was dumb with surprise. 

^ Among the Arabs the name of "brother" is very usual 
between friends. 

Coneluaion 217 

At nightfall they heard singing, boisterous laughter, 
and animated talking. Abou el Heidja said to his friend, 
"Go to the end of the subterranean passage and look. 
You will then make excuse for the love of your brother." 
Abou el Heiloukh stealing softly down to the lower end 
of the grotto, looked into the interior of the palace, and 
was enchanted with the sight of these virgins and their 
charms. "O brother," he asked, "which among these 
women is Zohra?" 

Abou el Heidja answered, "The one with the irre- 
proachable shape, whose smile is irresistible, whose 
cheeks are roses, and whose forehead is resplendently 
white, whose head is encircled by a crown of pearls, and 
whose garments sparkle with gold. She is seated on a 
throne encrusted with rare stones and nails of silver, and 
she is leaning her head upon her hand." 

"I have observed her of all the others," said Abou el 
Heiloukh, "as though she were a standard or a blazing 
torch. But, O my brother, let me draw your attention to 
a matter which appears not to have struck you." "What 
is it?" asked Abou el Heidja. His friend replied, "It is 
very certain, O my brother, that licentiousness reigns in 
this place. Observe that these people come here only at 
night time, and that this is a retired place. There is every 
reason to believe that it is exclusively consecrated to 
feasting, drinking and debauchery, and if it was your 
idea that you could have come to her you love by any 
other way than the one on which we are now, you would 
have found that you had deceived yourself, even if you 
had found means to communicate with her by the help 
of: other people."- "And why so?" asked Abou el Heidja. 
"Because," said his friend, "as far as I can see, Zohra 
solicits the affection of young girls, which is proof that 

tï8 The Perfumed Garden 

she can have no inclination for men, nor be responsive 
to their love." 

"O Abou el Heiloukh," said Abou el Heidja, '1 know 
the value of your judgment, and it is for that I have sent 
for you. You know that I have never hesitated to follow 
your advice and counsel!" "O my brother," said the son 
of the Vizir, "if God had not guided you to this entrance 
of the palace, you would never have been able to ap' 
proach Zohra. But from here, we can find our way." 

Next morning, at sunrise, they ordered their servants 
to make a breach in that place, and managed to get 
everything out of the way that could obstruct the pas- 
sage. This done they hid their horses in another cavern, 
safe from wild beasts and thieves; then all the four, the 
two masters and the two servants, entered the cavern 
and penetrated into the palace, each of them armed with 
sabre and buckler. They then closed up again the breach 
and restored its former appearance. 

They now found themselves in darkness, but Abou el 
Heiloukh, having struck a match, lighted one of the can- 
dies, and they began to explore the place in every sense. 
It seemed to them the marvel of marvels. The furniture 
was magnificent. Everywhere there were beds and 
couches of all kinds, rich candlebras, splendid lustres, 
sumptuous carpets, and tables covered with dishes, 
fruits and beverages. 

When they had admired all these treasures, they went 
on examining the chambers, counting them. There was a 
jgreat number of them, and in the last one they found a 
secret xioor, very small, and of appearance which at- 
tracted their a;ttention. Abou el Heiloukh said, "This is 

Conclusion 219 

very probably the door which communicates with the 
palace. Come, O my brother, we will await the things 
that are to come in one of these chambers." They took 
their position in a cabinet of difficult access, high up, and 
from which one could see without being seen. 

So they waited till night came on. At that moment 
the secret door opened, giving admission to a negress 
carrying a torch, who set alight all the lustres and candc 
labra, arranged the beds, set the plates, placed all sorts 
of meats upon the tables, with cups and bottles, and 
perfumed the air with the sweetest scents. 

Soon afterwards the maidens made their appearance. 
Their gait denoted at the same time indifference and Ian- 
guor. They seated themselves upon the divans, and the 
negress offered them meat and drink. They ate, drank, 
and sang melodiously. 

Then the four men, seeing them giddy with wine, 
came down from their hiding place with their sabres in 
their hands, brandishing them over the heads of the 
maidens. They had first taken care to veil their faces 
with the upper part of their haik. 

"Who are these men," cried Zohra, "who are invading 
our dwelling under cover of the shades of the night. 
Have you risen out of the ground, or did you descend 
from the sky? What do you want?" 

"Coition!" they answered. 

"With whom!" asked Zohra. 

"With you, O apple of my eye!" then said Abou el 
Heidja, advancing. 

Zohra: "Who are you?" 

"I am Abou el Heidja." 

Zohra: "But how is it you know me?" 

220 The Perfumed Garden 

"It is I who met you while out hunting at such and 
such a place/' 

Zohra: ''But what brought you hither?" 
"The will of God the Highest!" 

At this answer Zohra was silent, and set herself to 
think of a means by which she could rid herself of these 

Now among the virgins that were present there were 
several whose vulvas were like iron barred/ and whom 
no one had been able to deflower; there was also present 
a woman called Mouna (she who appeases passion), 
who was insatiable as regards coition. Zohra thought to 
herself, "It is only by a stratagem I can rid of these 
men. By means of these women I will set them tasks 
which they will be unable to accomplish as conditions for 
my consent." Then turning to Abou el Heidja, she said 
to him, "You will not get possession of me unless you 
fulfil the conditions which I shall impose upon you." 
The four cavaliers at once consented to this without 
knowing them, and she continued, "But, if you do not 
fulfil them, will you pledge your word that you will be 
my prisoners, and place yourselves entirely at my dispo' 
sition?" "We pledge our words!" they answered. 

She made them take their oath that they would be 
faithful to their word, and then, placing her hand in 
that of Abou el Heidja, she said to him, "As regards you 
I impose upon you the task to deflower eighty virgins 
without ejaculating. Such is my will! He said, "I accept." 

She let him then enter a chamber where there were 
several kinds of beds, and sent to him. the eighty virgins 

1 Literally, "ironbound," mouseahate. 

Conclusion 221 

in succession. Abou el Heidja deflowered them all, and 
so ravished in a single night the maidenhood of eighty 
young girls without ejaculating the smallest drop of 
sperm. This extraordinary vigour filled Zohra with as' 
tonishment, and likewise all those who were present. 

The princess, turning to the negro Mimoun, asked, 
"And this one, what is his name?" They said "Mimoun." 
"Your task shall be," said the princess, pointing to 
Mouna, "to do this woman's business without resting for 
fifty consecutive days; you need not ejaculate unless you 
like; but if the excess of fatigue forces you to stop, you 
will not have fulfilled your obligations." They all cried 
out at the hardness of such a task; but Mimoun pro' 
tested, and said, "I accept the condition, and shall come 
out of it with honour!" The fact was that this negro 
had an insatiable appetite for the coitus. Zohra told 
him to go with Mouna to her chamber, impressing upon 
the latter to let her know if the negro should exhibit the 
slightest trace of fatigue." 

"And you, what is your name?" she asked the friend 
of Abou el Heidja. "Abou el Heiloukh," he replied. 
"Well, then, Abou el Heiloukh, what I require of you is 
to remain here, in the presence of these women and 
virgins, for thirty consecutive days, with your member 
during this period always in erection during day and 

Then she said to the fourth, "What is your name?" 

"Felah (good fortune)," was his answer. "Very well, 
Felah," she said, "you will remain at our disposition for 
any services which we may have to demand of you." 

However, Zohra, in order to leave no motive for any 
excuse and so that she might not be accused of bad faith, 

222 The Perfumed Garden 

had asked them, first of all, what regimen they wished 
to follow during the period of their trial. Abou el Heidja 
had asked for the only drink — excepting water — camel's 
milk with honey, and, for nourishment, chick'peas cook- 
ed with meat and abundance of onions; and, by means of 
these aliments he did, by the permission of God, accom- 
plish his remarkable exploit. Abou el Heiloukh de' 
manded, for his nourishment, onions cooked with meat, 
and, for drink, the juice pressed out of pounded onions 
mixed with honey. Mimoun, on his part, asked for yolks 
of eggs and bread. 

However, Abou el Heidja claimed of Zohra the favour 
of copulating with her on the strength of the fact that 
he had fulfilled his engagement. She answered him, 
"Oh, impossible! the condition which you have fulfilled 
is inseparable from those which your companions have to 
comply with. The agreement must be carried out in its 
entirety, and you will find me true to my promise. But 
if one amongst you should fail in his task, you will all 
be my prisoners by the will of God!" 

Abou el Heidja gave way in the face of this firm 
resolve, and sat down amongst the girls and women, and 
ate and drank with them, whilst waiting for the conclu' 
sion of the tasks of his companions. 

At first Zohra, feeling convinced that they would soon 
all be at her mercy, was all amiability and smiles. But 
when the twentieth day had come she began to show 
signs of distress; and on the thirtieth she could no long' 
er restrain her tears. For on that day Abou el Heiloukh 
had finished his task, and, having come out of it honour* 
ably, he took his seat by the side of his friend amongst 
the company, who continued to eat tranquilly and to 
drink abundantly. 

Concltiaion 223 

From that time the princess, who had now no other 
hope than in the failure of the negro Mimovin, reUed 
upon his becoming fatigued before he finished his work. 
She sent every day to Mouna for information, who sent 
word that the negro's vigour was constantly increasing, 
and she began to despair, seeing already Abou el Heidja 
and Abou el Heiloukh coming off as victors in their en' 
terprises. One day she said to the two friends, "I have 
made inquiries about the negro, and Mouna has let me 
tnow that he was exhausted with fatigue." At these 
words Abou el Heidja cried, "In the name of God! if he 
does not carry out his task, aye, and if he does not go 
beyond it for ten days longer, he shall die the vilest of 

But his zealous servant never during the period of 
fifty days took any rest in his work of copulation, and 
kept going on, besides, for ten days longer, as ordered 
by his master. Mouna, on her part, had the greatest 
satisfaction, as this feat had at last appeased her ardour 
for coition.^ Mimoun, having remained victor, could 
then take his seat with his companions. 

Then said Abou el Heidja to Zohra, "See, we have 

1 Note in the autograph edition. — In certain texts the follow- 
ing version is found: "Mouna, at the iend of fifty days, was glad 
to have come to the end of the trial, for she had become sick of 
the coitus; but as Mimoun kept going on, she sent to Zohra the 
message, 'O my mistress, the time has lapsed, and he will not 
part with me! I conjure you, by God the Magnificeiit, with- 
draw inê from Hiis grievous situation. My thighs are like broken, 
3ijd it becomes impossible for me to keep lying down.' But 
Mimoun. s^orè that he would hot rètFrè until the ten days 
ordered by his master were gone, and he kept his word." 

224 The Perfumed Garden 

fulfilled all the conditions you have imposed upon us. 
It is now for you to accord me the favours which, ac- 
cording to our agreement, was to be the price if we suc' 
ceeded." "It is but too true!" answered the princess, and 
she gave herself up to him, and he found her excelling 
the most excellent.^ 

As to the negro, Mimoun, he married Mouna. Abou 
el Heiloukh chose, amongst all the virgins, the one whom 
he had found most attractive. 

They all remained in the palace, giving themselves up 
to good cheer and all possible pleasures, until death put 
an end to their happy existence and dissolved their 
union. God be merciful to them^ as well as to all Mus' 
sulmans! Amen! 

It is to this story that the verses cited previously make 
allusion.^ I have given it here, because it testifies to the 
efficacy of the dishes and remedies, the use of which I 
have recommended, for giving vigour for coition, and all 
learned men agree in acknowledging their salutary effects. 

There are still other beverages of excellent virtue. I 
will describe the following: "Take one part of the juice 
pressed out of pounded onions, and mix it with two parts 
of purified honey. Heat the mixture over a fire until the 

^ Note in the autograph edition. — Another version says here: 
"The performance of Mimoun filled all the world with admira- 
tion. They then took possession of everything contained in the 
castle; treasures, women, servants, the girls and all. They di' 
vided the whole into equal parts, of which each took his share; 
then Abou el Heidja had his pleasure with Zohra, and he 
found her, etc." 

• 2\^hgn pronouncing the name of a dead cO'religionist, the 
-Mussulmans never fail to add, "God be merciful to him!" - :. 

3 Note in the autograph edition. — It must bé observed that 
certain particulars as given in the verses are not in perfect aC' 
cordance with the corresponding parts in the story. 

CoTicliision 225 

onion' juice has disappeared and the honey only remains. 
Then take the residue from the fire, let it cool, and pre- 
serve it for use when wanted. Then mix of the same one 
aukia^ with three aouak of water, and let chick'peas be 
macerated in this fluid for one day and one night. 

This beverage is to be partaken of during winter and 
on going to bed. Only a small quantity is to be taken, 
and only for one day. The member of him who has 
drunk of it will not give him much rest during the night 
that follows. As to the man who partakes of it for sev' 
eral consecutive days, he will constantly have his mem' 
ber rigid and upright without intermission. A man with 
an ardent temperament ought not to make use of it, as it 
may give him a fever. Nor should the medicine be used 
three days in succession except by old or cold-tempered 
men. And lastly, it should not be resorted to in summer. 

I certainly did wrong to put this book together; 

But you will pardon me, nor let me pray in vain. 

O God! award no punishment for this on judgment day! 

And thou, oh reader, hear me conjure thee to say: So he it!'^ 

1 Noté in the autograph edition. — Aoukia, from the Greek. 
The meaning differs according to the countries and. times. In 
pharmacopoeia it is twelve drachms. 

2 Id. — These verses form the end of the most complete manu' 
script which we had in our hands. 


In the year of grace 1876 some amateurs who were pas' 
sionately fond of Arabian Hterature combined for the 
purpose of reproducing, by autographic process, a num- 
ber of copies of a French translation of a work written 
by the Cheikh Nef^aoui, which book had, by a lucky 
chance, fallen into their hands. Each brought to the 
undertaking such assistance as his special knowledge al- 
lowed, and it was thus that a tedious work was achieved 
by amateurs, amidst obstacles which were calculated to 
abate the ardour of their enthusiasm. 

Thus, as the reader has doubtless already divined, it 
was not an individual, but a concourse of individuals, 
who, taking advantage of a union of favourable circum- 
stances and facilities, not of common occurrence, offered 
to their friends the first fruit of a work, interesting, and 
of such rarity that to the present time very few have 
had the opportunity of reading it, while they could only 
gather their knowledge from incorrect manuscripts, so- 
phisticated copies, and incomplete translations! It is to 
this association of efforts, guided by the principle of the 
division of labour for the carrying out of a great under- 
taking, that the appearance of this book is due. 

The Editor (it is under this name that the Society 
J. M. P. Q. has been, is, and will be designated, is as- 
sured before hand, notwithstanding the imperfection of 
his production, of the sympathies of his readers, who are 

Appendix 227 

all friends of his, or friends of his friends, and for whose 
benefit he has worked. For this reason he is not going to 
claim an indulgence which has been aheady extended to 
him, his wish only to make clear to everybody the exact 
value and nature of the book which he is offering, and 
to make known on what foundations the work has been 

done, in how far the remarkable translations of M 

has been respected, and, in short, what reliance may be 
placed in the title, "Translated from the Arabic by 
H , Staff Officer." 

It is, in fact, important that there should be no mis' 
understanding on this point, and that the reader should 
not imagine that he holds an exact copy of that transia' 
tion in his hands; for we confess that we have modified 
it, and we give these explanations in order to justify the 
alterations which were imposed by the attending circum' 

As far as we are aware, there have been made until 
now only two proper translations of the work of the 
Cheikh Nefzaoui. One, of which we have availed our- 
selves, is due, as is well known, to M — — , a fanatical 
and distinguished Arabophile; the other is the work of 
Doctor L ; the latter we have never seen. 

A learned expounder commenced a translation which 
promised to leave the others far behind. Unfortunately, 
death interrupted the accomplishment of this work, and 
there was no one to continue it. 

Our intention, at the outset, was to reproduce simply 
the first of the aforenamed translations, making, how 
ever; such rectifications as were necessitated by gross 
mistakes in the orthography, and in the French idiom, 
by which the mannscript in our possession was disfig' 

228 The Perfumed Garden 

ured. Our views did not go beyond that; but we had 
scarcely made any progress with the book when we 
found that it was impossible to keep the translation as 
it stood. Obvious omissions, mistaken renderings of the 
sense, originating, no doubt, with the faulty Arab text 
which the translator had at his disposal, and which were 
patent at first sight, imposed upon the necessity of con- 
sulting other sources. We were thus induced to examine 
all the Arab manuscripts of the work which we could 
by any possibility obtain. 

Three texts were to this end put under contribution. 
These treated of the same subjects in the same order, and 
presented the same succession of chapters, correspond' 
ing, however, in this respect, point by point, with the 
manuscript upon which our translator had to work, but 
while two of them gave a kind of abstract of the ques- 
tions treated, the third, on the contrary, seemed to en- 
large at pleasure upon every subject. 

We shall expatiate to some slight extent upon this last 
named text, since the study of it has enabled us to clear 
up a certain number of points upon which M , not- 
withstanding his conscientious researches, has been un- 
able to throw sufficient light. 

The principal characteristic of this text which, is not 
exempt from gross mistakes, is the affectation of more 
care as to style and choice of expressions; it enters more 
into fastidious, and frequently technical particulars, con- 
tains more quotations of verses — often, be it remarked, 
inapplicable ones — and uses, in certain circumstances, 
filthy images, which seem to have had a particular at- 
traction for the author; but as a compensation for these 
faults, it gives, instead of cold, dry explications, pictures 

Appendix 229 

which are often charming, wanting neither in poetry nor 
originality, nor in descriptive talent, not even in a cer- 
tain elevation of thought, and bearing an undeniable 
stamp of originality. We may cite as an example the 
"Chapter of Kisses," which is found neither in our trans' 
lation nor in the other two texts which we have exam- 
ined, and which we have borrowed. 

In our character of Gauls, we must not complain about 
the obscenities which are scattered about, as if on pur' 
pose to excite grosser passions; but what we must depre' 
cate are the tedious expansions, whole pages full of ver- 
biage, which disfigure the work, and are like the reverse 
of the medal. The author has felt this himself, as at the 
conclusion of his work he requests the reader to pardon 
him in consideration of the good intention which has 
guided his pen. In presence of the qualities of first 
rank, which must be acknowledged to exist in the book, 
we should have preferred that it had not contained 
these defects; we should have liked, in one word, to see 
it more homogeneous and more earnest, and more par- 
ticularly so if one considers that the circumstances which 
we are pointing out raises doubts as to the veritable ori' 
gin of the new matters which have been discovered, and 
which might easily be taken for interpolations due to the 
fancy of one or more of the copyists through whose 
hands the work passed before we received it. 

Everyone knows, in fact, the grave inconveniences 
attaching to manuscripts, and the services rendered by 
the art of printing to science and literature by disposing 
of them. No copy leaves the hands of the copyist com- 
plete and perfect, particularly if the writer is an Arab, 
the least scrupulous of all. The Arab copyist not only 

230 The Perfumed Garden 

involuntary scatters about mistakes which are due to 
his ignorance and carelessness, but will not shrink from 
making corrections, modifications, and even additions 
according to his fancy. The literary reader himself, 
carried way by the charm of the subject, often annotates 
the text in margin, inserts an anecdote or idea which 
is just current, or some puffed'up medical recipe; and all 
this, to the great detriment of its purity, finds its way 
into the body of the work through the hands of the next 

There can be no doubt that the work of the Cheikh 
Nefzaoui has suffered in this way. Our three texts and 
the one upon which the translator worked, offer striking 
dissimilarities, and of all kinds; although, by the way, 
one of the translations seems to approach more nearly in 
style to the extended text of which we have spoken. But 
a question of another sort comes before us with respect 
to this last, which contains more than four times as much 
it not be possible that a third work, still more complete 
Cheik Nefzaoui, always bearing in mind the modification 
to which manuscripts are exposed, and does it so stand 
by itself as a work for the perusal of voluptuaries, while 
the others are only abridged copies for the use of the 
vulgar, serving them as an elementary treatise? Or might 
it not be the product of numerous successive additions 
to the original work, by which, as we have already sug- 
gested, its bulk has been considered increased. 

We have no hesitation in pronouncing in favour of 
the first of these hypotheses. In the record which the 
Cheikh gives of it, he says that this is the second work 
of the kind which he has composed, and that it is in fact 
only the first one, entitled the "Torch of the Universe," 

Appendix 281 

considerably increased in pursuance of the advice given 
by the Vizir Mohammed ben Ouana ez Zouaoui. Might 
it not be possible that third work, still more complete 
than the second, had been the outcome of new studies 
of the author? Subjects of a particular specialty have 
certainly been treated in the work of which we speak, 
translation, we find reproaches addressed by the transla- 
tor to the author, because he has merely hinted at two 
questions of more than ordinary interest, viz., tribady 
and paederasty. Well, then, the Chiekh would meet his 
critic triumphantly by appearing before him with the 
work in question, for the chapter which constitutes by 
itself more than half of its whole volume is the twenty 
first, and bears the superscription: "The twenty 'first 
and last chapter of the book, treating of the utility of 
eggs and some other substances which favour the coitus; 
of tribady and the woman who first conceived this dc 
scription of voluptuousness; of paederasty and matters 
concerned with it; of procuresses and the sundry ruses 
by which one may get possession of a woman; of facetiae, 
jokes, anecdotes and several questions concerning the 
coitus in general." 

What would be the surprise of the translator to find a 
community of views and sentiments existing between 
himself, a representative of modern civili2;ation, and this 
Arab, who lived more than three hundred years ago. He 
could only express his regret for having entertained so 
bad an opinion of his master, for having believed for one 
moment in an omission on his part, and for having 
doubted his competency to deal with the various ques- 
tions spoken of. 

Does not the discovery of a text so complete authorise 

232 The Perfumed Garden 

us to admit the existence of two works, one elementary, 
the other learned? And might it not be by reason of a 
little remnant of bashfulness, that the author has reserv' 
ed for the twentyfirst chapter without any previous al- 
lusion, the remarkable subjects which we do not find 
hinted at in any other place? 

To put the question in this fashion is at the same time 
to solve it, and to solve it in the affirmative. That inter- 
minable chapter would not be a product of interpola- 
tions. It is too long and too serious a work to admit of 
such a supposition. The little that we have seen of it 
seems to bear the stamp of well-pronounced originality, 
and to be composed with too much method, not to be 
the work — and entirely the work — of the master. 

One may be surprised that this text is so rare, but the 
answer is very simple. As the translator judiciously ob- 
serves in his notice, the matters treated in the twenty- 
first chapter are of a nature to startle many people. See! 
an Arab, who practises in secret paederasty, affects in 
public rigid an austere manners, while he discusses with- 
out constraint in his conversation everything that con- 
cerns the natural coitus. Thus you will easily under- 
stand that he would not wish to be suspected of reading 
such a book, by which his reputation would be compro- 
mised in the eyes of his co-religionists while he would, 
without hesitation exhibit a book which treated of the 
coitus only. Another consideration, moreover, suffices 
to completely explain the rarity of the work; its compass 
makes it very expensive, and the manuscript is not attain- 
able by everybody on account of the high price it reaches. 

However it may be regards the origin of the text, hav- 
ing the three documents in our possession we have given 

Appendix 233 

careful revision to the translation of M— — . Each doubt- 
fui point has been the object of minute research, and has 
been generally cleared up by one or the other. When 
there were several acceptable versions, we chose that 
which was the most fit for the context, and many muti- 
lated passages were restored. Nor were we afraid to 
make additions in borrowing from the extended text 
what appeared to us worthy of reproduction, and for 
the omission of which we should have been blamed by 
the reader. We were careful, however, not to overload 
the work, and to introduce no new matter which would 
militate against the peculiar character of the original 
translation. It is partly for this last reason, and still 
more so because the work required for this undertaking 
surpassed our strength that we could not bring to light, 
to our great regret, the treasures concealed in the twen- 
ty-first chapter, as well as a certain number of new tales 
not less acceptable than those which we have given, and 
with which we have enriched the text. 

We must not conceal that, leaving out of sight these 
alterations, we have not scrupled to refine the phrases, 
round off the periods, correct the phraseology, and, in 
short, to amend even the form of the translation which, 
in many instances, left much to be desired. It was a 
matter of necessity that the perusal of the contents of 
the book should be made agreeable. Now, the transla- 
tor, with the most praiseworthy intentions, had been too 
anxious to render the Arabic text, with its short jum' 
bled sentences as clearly as possible, and had thus made 
the reading painfully laborious. Looking at some pas- 
sages, it may even be supposed that he had only jotted 
them down, particularly towards the end, and had not 

284 The Perfumed Garden 

been able, for some reason or other, to revise them xintil 
it was too late. 

The new matter introduced has compelled us to make 
modifications in the notes of the translator, and to add 
new notes for the better elucidation of the subjects 
which have not been treated before. We have been, 
with respect to these notes, as careful as we were with 
respect to the text, endeavouring to respect as much as 
possible the personal work of the translator. 

Now that the reader has all the necessary information 
about the French edition of the Cheikh Nefziaoui's work, 
he will permit us to make, in conclusion, a few remarks 
upon the ensemble of the book. 

There are found in it many passages which are not 
attractive. The extraordinary ideas displayed — for in- 
stance tJiose about medicines and concerning the mean' 
ings of dreams — clash too directly with modern thought 
not to awaken in the reader a feeling more of boredom 
than of pleasure. 

The work is certainly encumbered with a quantity of 
matter which cannot but appear ridiculous in the eyes of 
the civilized modern reader; but we should not have 
been justified in weeding it out. We were bound to keep 
it intact as we had received it from our translator. We 
have held with the Italian proverb, Traduttore, traditore, 
that a work loses sufficient of its originality by being 
conveyed from its own tongue into another, and we hope 
that the plan we have adopted will meet with general 
approval. Those oddities are, moreover, instructive, as 
they make us acquainted with the manner and character 
of the Arab under a peculiar aspect, and not only of the 
Arab who was contemporary with ovir author, but also 
with the Arab of our own day. The latter is, in fact, 

Appendix 235 

not much more advanced than was the former. Although 
our contact with the race becomes closer every day in 
Tunis, Morocco, Egypt, and other Mussulman countries, 
they hold to their old medical prescriptions, have the 
same belief in divination, and honour the same mass of 
ridiculous notions, in which sorcery and amulets play a 
large part, and which appear to us supremely absurd. At 
the same time, one may observe from the very passages 
which we here refer to, that this people was not so 
averse as one might believe to witticisms, for the pun 
(calembour) occupies an important position in the ex' 
planation of dreams with which the author has studied 
the chapters on the sexual organs, apparently for no 
particular reason but no doubt with the idea that no 
matter of interest should be absent from his work. 

The reader will perhaps also find that probability is 
frequently sacrificed to imagination. This is a distinct 
mark of the Arabic literature, and our work could not 
otherwise but exhibit the faults inherent to the genius of 
this race, which revels in the love for the marvellous, and 
amongst whose chief literary productions are to be 
counted the 'Thousand and One Nights." But if these 
tales show such defaults very glaringly, they exhibit 
on the other hand, charming qualities, simplicity, grace, 
dehcacy; a mine of precious things which has been ex- 
plored and made use of by modern authors. We have 
pointed out, in some notes, the relationship which we 
found between these tales and those of Boccaccio and 
La Fontaine, but we could not draw attention to all. We 
had to pass over many with silence, and amongst them, 
some of the most striking, as for instance in the case of 
"The Man Expert in Stratagems Duped by his Wife," 
which we find reproduced with all the perfect mastership 

236 The Perfumed Garden 

of Balzac at the end of the 'Thysiologie du Mariage." 

We will not pursue this sketch any further. If instead 
of commencing the book with a preface we have pre 
ferred to address the reader at the end, this was done in 
order not to impose our views upon him and thus to 
stand between him and the work. Whether these addi- 
tional lines will be read by him or not, we believe that 
we have done our duty by informing him of the direc- 
tion we gave to our work. We tried, on the one hand, 
to prove the merits of the translator who furnished the 
basis for our labours, that is to say, the part which re 
quired the most science and study, while, on the other 
hand, we desired our readers to know in how far this 
translation had to be recast. 

To the Arabophile who would wish to produce a bet' 
ter translation the way is left open; and in perfecting the 
work he is free to uncover the unknown beauties of the 
twenty-first chapter to his admiring contemporaries. 



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